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How To Watch Tonight's Total Solar Eclipse Wherever You Are In The World

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Tom Hale

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

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The diamond ring signaling the end of totality is visible in this image of the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse from Madras, Oregon. NASA/Gopalswamy

On July 2, 2019, the new Moon will pass between Earth and our Sun, creating the first total solar eclipse since the transcontinental total eclipse that swept across the US in August 2017. Unfortunately, most of the world won’t be able to witness the event with their own eyes – unless you're in Chile or Argentina – but if you’re still interested in catching a glimpse, there are a few ways to do so. 

Tonight's total solar eclipse will begin at 6.01pm UTC, with the “path of totality" starting east of New Zealand before voyaging across the Pacific Ocean at almost 10,000 kilometers (over 6,200 miles) per hour. It will then reach Chile, near La Serena on the coast, at 8.39pm UTC (4.39pm local time). It will cruise across South America, reaching Argentina by around 8.44pm UTC (4.44pm local time). 

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The path of totality, the Moon's shadow that passes across Earth when the Moon completely covers the Sun, is only approximately 112 kilometers (70 miles) wide, so only a limited number of people will get to enjoy the eclipse in all its all glory. Those directly in its path should be able to see the total solar eclipse for up to 2 minutes if weather conditions remain favorable. 

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A few observatories will be live-streaming the phenomenon from Chile. Endowed with low levels of light pollution and 300 cloudless nights a year, this skinny South American nation is considered the world capital of astronomy and hosts some of the planet's best observatories, including the world's largest optical telescope, currently under construction and set for 2025. 

The European Southern Observatory will be broadcasting a “raw” feed at 7.15pm UTC without any commentary at eso.org/public/live or on YouTube straight from the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Exploratorium museum in San Francisco is also partnering with NASA to live stream the eclipse from an observatory in Vicuna, Chile. Alternatively, check it out on the video player below or http://nasa.gov/live from 7pm UTC onwards. 

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for the hashtag #EclipseChile2019 on Twitter and Instagram for imagery of the astronomical event. 

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Even if you miss out this time around, you shouldn’t have to wait a lifetime to observe the next total solar eclipse. December 2020 will see another total solar eclipse in Chile and Argentina, but the next total solar eclipse that will fall across North American will be on April 8, 2024, and will be visible in Mexico, central and northeastern US, and eastern Canada. Parts of Europe, such as Iceland, Spain, and Portugal, will also witness a total solar eclipse in August 2026.


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