The last total solar eclipse our planet experienced was the Great American Eclipse, which darkened the sky of the United States from the West to the East coast on August 21, 2017.
The next total eclipse will be on July 2, visible in the South Pacific and South America.
The eclipse will begin at 4:55 pm UTC, with totality starting about 66 minutes later just east of New Zealand. The shadow of the Moon will whizz across the Pacific at almost 10,000 kilometers (over 6,200 miles) per hour, reaching the end of totality at 8:44 pm UTC as the Sun sets over Argentina.
2019 South American Solar eclipse
The path of totality at its widest will be roughly 201 kilometers (125 miles). In the Pacific, totality will last a maximum of 4 minutes and 33 seconds. That’s almost an extra 2 minutes compared to the total American solar eclipse in 2017, which lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds in Kentucky.
If you’re not lucky enough to be in Chile, Argentina, or on a cruise somewhere in the great blue ocean, worry not! The Slooh Community Observatory will have a live show of the eclipse starting at 3:15 pm EDT (12:15 pm PDT 19:15 UTC) and ending 2.5 hours later.
“The 2019 South American solar eclipse is not an easy event to capture. Unlike the 2017 eclipse, and except for a tiny uninhabited South Pacific island, the path of totality (the 90-mile wide path of the Moon’s umbral shadow) only makes landfall across a narrow stretch of Chile and Argentina,” said Paul Cox, Slooh’s chief astronomical officer. “Having raced across the Pacific Ocean at over 6,000 mph, by the time the Moon’s shadow reaches the west coast of Chile, the Sun will be low to the horizon, with the partial eclipse phases occurring just as the Sun is setting.“
If you can’t make this eclipse in person or virtually, you won’t have to wait as long for the next one. On December 14, 2020, the Moon will once again obscure the Sun and be visible in Chile and Argentina as well as in Kiribati and Polynesia.
Between now and then, there will be two annular eclipses where the Moon is at its further point from Earth and doesn’t cover the Sun completely. The one on December 26 will go from Pakistan to the western Pacific, and the one on June 21, 2020, will go from equatorial Africa all the way to Taiwan.
In this eclipse season, the present total solar eclipse will be followed by a partial lunar eclipse on July 16, 2019.