It Is Time to Prepare for the July 2019 Total Solar Eclipse

It Is Time to Prepare for the July 2019 Total Solar Eclipse

Lea la versión en Español

May 6, 2019

The total solar eclipse will happen on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, and the path of totality will cross the South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

For those who have seen the Great American Eclipse in 2017, the upcoming total solar eclipse of 2019 promises to be an even more spectacular show. Being along the path of totality of a solar eclipse is a rare and incomparable experience, impossible to replicate. The whole world becomes surrounded by darkness, animals and birds wind down for the night, and even some spiders dismantle their webs.

Besides all this, the total solar eclipse is truly incredible for photographers who get the chance to capture the Moon’s shadow and the Sun’s corona from their location in the path of totality.


What Should You Expect During a Total Solar Eclipse?


When the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are in such alignment that the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth directly and blocks all sunlight, a total eclipse occurs. Although the Moon is orbiting the Sun continuously, a total solar eclipse cannot happen every month. That is because the orbit of the Moon is positioned at a slight angle relative to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun.

For a total solar eclipse to take place, the Moon has to cross the plane of the Earth exactly at the same time it is positioned between the Earth and the Sun. Such an event happens in any location of the planet about once every 18 months, but it is much rarer for a total eclipse to be visible from the same location.


Is It Safe to Look at the Sun During Eclipse?


The Moon’s shadow completely blocks the sun, so it is safe to look at it directly without wearing eye protection, but only during totality. For those outside of totality path and for viewing the partial eclipse before and after totality, special solar filters are needed to protect the eyes. Those come as eclipse glasses or handheld eclipse viewers and have to be ISO certified.


What Is Going to Happen in 2019?


On July 2, viewers in Argentina can start enjoying the partial solar eclipse beginning a few minutes after 4 p.m. local time in the south and about 4:40 p.m. in the north. In San Juan province the totality will begin at 5:39 p.m. and will last about 2 minutes 30 seconds. For the viewers in Buenos Aires Province, the totality will be visible from 5:42 p.m. and will last 2 minutes 5 seconds.


Depending on location, viewers in Argentina will be able to experience a total and partial eclipse. Spectators in provinces of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, San Juan, La Rioja, Santa Fe, and San Luis will witness totality. The rest of the country will view a partial eclipse, but even in the southernmost parts of the country, about 50% of the Sun will be covered. In Buenos Aires, the capital city, the Moon’s shadow will cover 99% of the Sun.


What If I Miss the Eclipse in 2019?


If you miss the total solar eclipse in Argentina in 2019, the next total eclipse will happen, along a different path across the South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina on December 14, 2020. There will be two annular solar eclipses occurring in between, one on December 26, 2019, and another on June 21, 2020.

With all these events involving the Sun, it’s imperative that you get prepared now. Purchase your certified safe solar viewing glasses now. Moreover, there will be meteor showers and other interesting cosmic phenomena to see in the sky during 2019.

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