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Stunning astronomical alignment for millions on Tuesday



By Brian Lada AccuWeather meteorologist and employee author
29th June 2019, 14:44:04 EDT

All eyes are focused on the sky on Tuesday afternoon as sun, moon and earth align themselves in the incredible phenomenon known as solar total darkness. But before the moon throws its shadow on the earth, people will focus on the weather forecast.

The Total Solar Eclipse will occur on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, and will be visible only over part of the Southern Hemisphere, including much of the South Pacific and part of South America.

This is the world's first total solar eclipse since the "Great American Eclipse," which astounded millions in the United States on August 21, 2017.

  Eclipse 2017

This August 21, 2017 (AP Photo / Don Ryan, file)

Much of South America will see a partial eclipse in the afternoon and evening hours, but adequate eye protection is mandatory.

"You can not even look into the sun with your naked eye, so you want to watch the partial phases and put on the sunglasses that blocks about 99% of the sun's light," Dr. Gordon Telepun opposite AccuWeather. Telepun is a seasoned Eclipse photographer and Eclipse educator who has traveled the world to witness eclipses. He will be at this solar eclipse in Argentina on Tuesday.

"When you look at the sun through a magnified device, such as a pair of binoculars or a telescope, or even a camera, you can burn the back of your retina, because these magnifiers create a point of bright sun," Telepun said.

The only area that can see the total solar eclipse will be a small area in Chile and Argentina.

  South America 2019 Solar Eclipse

This area, referred to as the Path of Totality, stretches from La Serena (Chile) to the south, but without Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Areas in the middle of this path can expect about 2 minutes and 30 seconds in the shade of the sun. In the meantime, people close to the road will only experience totality for about a minute.

The sky spectacle, however, can be missing in areas where clouds obscure the sky.

  Eclipse June 29

Fortunately, good visibility is forecasted for many areas on the road to totality in South America on Tuesday afternoon, but some clouds are possible.

Clouds could spoil the partial solar eclipse for those in Paraguay, southern Brazil, the extreme north and south of Argentina, and southern Chile.

Even though the solar eclipse is not visible in cloudy weather, it still becomes noticeably darker.


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People throughout South America who miss the total solar eclipse on Tuesday do not have to wait long for another to be seen from the continent.

In just 17 months, the moon will completely block the sun in Chile and Argentina. This solar eclipse will take place on December 14, 2020, with the path of totality just a few hundred miles south of the solar eclipse on Tuesday.

"For US observers who have experienced their first total eclipse in 2017 and have a burning desire to see another, and can not wait to wait until 2024, a journey south is a sensible international trip to [this eclipse] ", Telepun said.

People across North America who do not want to travel internationally to see a solar eclipse need to be patient as the next eclipse will take place in a few years.

On October 14, 2023, a "fire ring" solar eclipse will be visible in parts of the western United States, as well as in Central America and northern South America. In this type of solar eclipse, the moon is farther from the earth, which means that it is not large enough to completely cover the solar disk.

The main event, however, will be six months later.

  Ring of Fire

A ring-shaped solar eclipse, known as the Ring of Fire solar eclipse, on January 4, 2011. (Image / NASA / Hinode / XRT) On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse took place USA as well as in parts of northern Mexico and eastern Canada.

This solar eclipse may be more impressive and is seen by more people than 2017, as it lasts longer and is visible in several major cities including Dallas, Indianapolis and Cleveland.

The total solar eclipse of 2024 could arouse interest in astronomy for a whole new generation of solar eclipse hunters.

"There is no other situation on Earth than a solar eclipse in which the entire electromagnetic spectrum of the Sun is physically blocked," said Telepun. "Total solar eclipses are the result of the miraculous and eternal movement of the solar system."

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