Less Than One Month Left Until the Next Total Solar Eclipse
Everything you need to know about the total solar eclipse across South America on July 2, 2019.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Have you witnessed the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017? If yes, you might be already looking forward to the next total solar eclipse and the chance to glimpse at the Sun’s corona for a few minutes.
In less than a month – for the first time since the North American eclipse – a total solar eclipse will occur on Earth and will be visible from Argentina, Chile, and South Pacific.
Seeing the Sun in the pitch-black sky surrounded by the light of the corona is truly a mind-blowing experience. A lot of international travelers come from the farthest corners of the world and stopping at different locations see the event and explore surrounding landmarks along the way.
It is even more incredible how science can now predict the time and length of the eclipse and totality phase to microseconds.
What will be different this eclipse?
Compared to the Great American Eclipse, the totality in Argentina promises to be an even greater event. The phase of totality, during which the Moon completely blocks the Sun, and only the solar corona is visible, will last for approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
This totality length is similar to the eclipse in the US in 2017. However, in Argentina, totality will be happening about an hour before sunset, which is why the Sun will appear rather low in the sky.
At just 12° high, the view of the total solar eclipse promises to be quite dramatic and just perfect for photographers looking forward to capturing amazing images of the eclipse.
Taking photos from locations alongside totality path in Argentina will allow you to position the mountains, trees, or buildings, in the same frame as the Sun’s corona, which is why the upcoming solar eclipse will be a delight for professional and amateur photographers alike.
Low elevations of the Sun and the Moon will create a different visual effect. At times when the total eclipse is low, it is easier to perceive the dark shadow of the moon, and it is easier to recognize the shape of the shadow more clearly, compared to looking straight up in the sky.
Where to find eclipse-chasers?
Most viewers along the path of totality will watch the eclipse from the high Andes on the east of Argentina, north of San Juan province. Elevated sites are preferred locations for the watchers, because of good weather predictions and rather long totality phase duration to be observed on land.
When the total solar eclipse happens as low as the one on July 2, 2019, it creates its challenges for the watchers. The path of totality throughout western Argentina is mountainous, which is why it is important to find a good observing location at the time of the eclipse, which is not in the shadow.
A few maps are worth checking out for those who are looking for an ideal location to watch the total solar eclipse. Google Map by Xavier Jubier or shadow maps by Zeiler are good options. Shadow maps work to represent the amount of shadow at different locations at the time of totality phase.
By using these maps, eclipse-chasers can select a good location in advance of the total eclipse. More importantly, waiting to find location until the eclipse day is not advised because of limited road systems in the area and as a result, elevated traffic.
What weather to expect on eclipse day?
In July, it will be winter in Argentina, so a marine layer may prevent a clear totality. On the coast, there could likely be clouds, so choosing a good location somewhere in advance is important.
There will be limited mobility on the day of the eclipse, so the weather will play an important part in individual experiences of totality. Certainly, eclipse-chasers are hoping for a few minutes of cloudless sky during the eclipse.