If you threw away your special solar eclipse glasses after the total solar eclipse in 2017, don’t fret, because there are other ways to watch the next one.
The so-called Great South American Eclipse takes place on Tuesday, July 2 and will sweep across the South Pacific and much of South America. People in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and parts of Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama and the French Polynesian island of Tahiti will catch a glimpse of the partial eclipse, according to NASA. Only those in the narrow 95-mile wide path of totality, which stretches across certain areas of Chile and Argentina, will experience a total solar eclipse.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are all in direct alignment. The moon casts a shadow over the Earth, fully or partially blocking the sun’s light in certain areas. Those along the path of totality will see the moon fully covering the sun.
For the solar eclipse on July 2, the path of totality can be traced from La Serena, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina and includes the Elqui Valley — an astrotourism hotspot in Chile. For those of us who sadly did not get our travel plans to South America organized in time to see the solar eclipse in person, there are fortunately other ways to watch the phenomenon.
NASA and the San Francisco’s Exploratorium have partnered together and will travel to the National Science Foundation’s Cerro Tololo Observatory in Vicuña, Chile to livestream the eclipse. You can watch online, on NASA Television or download the Exploratorium solar eclipse app to watch live. The total eclipse will appear over land at 4:38pm EDT in La Serena and ends about six minutes later, at 4:44pm, near Chascomús in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While the total eclipse is exceptionally brief, viewers can experience the partial eclipse from 3pm to 6pm with live commentary in English and Spanish from 4pm to 5pm.
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) will also broadcast the eclipse live on their website and YouTube channel beginning at 3:15pm EDT. This livestream will not include commentary, but instead provide raw feed from various sources featuring views from three small telescopes and spectators. The ESO predicts the partial eclipse will begin at 3:23pm and end around 5:47pm, with the total eclipse beginning at 4:39pm and ending at 4:41pm.
The Slooh Observatory — a skywatching streaming service — will livestream a broadcast of the eclipse from 3:15pm until 6pm. If you decide to watch from this site, just make sure to save some time to make an account before the broadcast begins.
And Time and Date will offer live coverage from 12:55pm EDT until 5:50pm. The website also explains all the factors necessary for a solar eclipse to occur, in case you still have questions about how it all works.
Featured photo by Rick Meyers via Unsplash.