Know the schedules, observation points, recommendations and much more to enjoy this astronomical event.
On Tuesday, July 2, Chile will look at its sky to observe the Total Solar Eclipse. Get information about how you can see it in your region, schedules, results, the main recommendations for those who travel to the regions of Atacama and Coquimbo (where the eclipse is going to be total) and how to have a safe experience observing the eclipse without damaging your eyes.
On July 2, a total solar eclipse will be seen in Atacama and Coquimbo regions and partially in the rest of the country. It will be a civic celebration to marvel at one of the most impressive phenomena of nature.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets in the "path" of sunlight, casting its shadow on Earth. The zone of totality is called Umbra and it is when the Sun is completely blocked by the Moon. On July 2, the zone of total darkness will comprise a 150-kilometer strip, between Domeyko in the Atacama Region and Guanaqueros in the Coquimbo region.
On the other hand, the Penumbra, that is the partial shade in between the entirely dark and entirely illuminated spaces during an eclipse, will be appraised in the rest of Chile in different percentages of darkness.
What are the schedules?
In the following table you will find the exact time when the eclipse will begin, the maximum darkness achieved and its end in the capital cities of each region. In the middle of the zone of totality, the eclipse will last 2:36 minutes. This time is going to increasingly reduced as the observer moves further away the zone of totality.
Remember at all times that you must use the appropriate elements to observe the clipse, such as certified lenses or welder's mask glass grade 12 or more. Looking at the sun directly or with wrong elements, can cause irreparable damage to your eyesight or your children’s.
Official observation points
Both the regions of Atacama and Coquimbo, where the solar eclipse is going to be total, have established the following official observation points:
Chañaral de Aceituno, campsite 1
Carrizalillo, campsite 2
Domeyko, campsite 3
Cachiyuyo, campsite 4
Incahuasi, campsite 6
Campsite 5, Base (Ruta C-541)
La Higuera: Cementerio area (fields)
La Serena: La Portada Stadium
Coquimbo: Avenida Costanera, kilometer 465 area (skate park)
Andacollo: Oasis Park, Curque Alto area
Vicuña: Pampilla de San Isidro
Vicuña: River coast area (José Miguel Carrera Sur street)
Paihuano: Paihuano Raveen, Los Grillos area
Hurtado River: Las Perdices area, Morrillos field
Ovalle: Municipal ground area, river coast, intersection La Chimba y Costanera streets (municipal ground area)
Monte Patria: Huayquilonko Cultural Center
Combarbalá: Avenida Sur (Park area)
Punitaqui: Maitencillo Park (agricultural community)
Los Vilos: Guanguali Carlos González Olivares Stadium
Illapel: Santa Virginia, fútbol field, El Bato dam
Salamanca: N°2 Stadium (580 Ruiz Valledor Street)
Canela: Pampilla Municipal campsite
Where to see it in Santiago?
In the Metropolitan Region, the solar eclipse will be seen in its 92% and the Pablo Neruda amphitheater in the Metropolitan Park will be one of the best places to enjoy it. In that venue there will be astronomical talks since 2pm and the bus service of the Metropolitan Park will provide a special route to get there, between 13 and 18 hours. It is important that assistants bring their own certified lenses to see the eclipse.
Traffic contingency plan and recommendations
The Public Works Ministry informed the contingency plan in Coquimbo to ensure a fast entry and exit of the La Florida aerodrome of La Serena. In addition, it was established that the Ovalle aerodrome will operate as an international terminal to support the unusual large amount of flights expected. El Tuqui airfield will also be allowed to receive operations from small flights coming from abroad.
Some of the main contingency measures for the day of the eclipse will take place in Route 41Ch, which will suffer some traffic restrictions: from 9 am to 2 pm, between La Florida aerodrome of La Serena and the Pelicana area. It will be enabled only to transit towards the east, that is, towards the Elqui Valley. From this sector to Vicuña, transit will take place normally. And between 14 and 17 hours, the traffic from the La Florida airfield will be suspended until the entrance to Cerro Tololo, returning the traffic to normal at 5:00 pm. Likewise, the various toll plazas arranged in the concessioned routes of the region will be operating at full capacity according to the conditions.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications, recommended to plan carefully trips to the regions of Coquimbo and Atacama: travelers should depart early and always pay attention to traffic conditions. In case of traveling by bus, avoid pirate services, as inspection teams and Carabineros will be controlling the routes.
In addition, use telephone networks responsibly during the eclipse: avoid transmitting live, posting in social media or uploading files (photographs and video) to keep the networks operational for eventual emergencies. To communicate with each other, use messaging applications such as WhatsApp or SMS.
According to the Telecommunications Undersecretary, phone companies were asked to reinforce their networks and deploy resources, mainly to provide service in spite of the large amount of users. The companies committed themselves to provide mobile cars to support ther services in different critical points.
This July 2 is the launch for the eclipses season, because on December 14, 2020 another total solar eclipse will be seen in the regions of La Araucanía and Los Ríos.
After that, we will have to wait 29 years to experience another similar astronomical event: December 5, 2048, whose totality will cover 133 km and will last 3 minutes 28 seconds.
Previously, on November 3, 1994, the last solar eclipse of the 20th century was seen in the north of Chile. In addition, on July 11, 2010, a total solar eclipse crossed the South Pacific Ocean, and was seen on Easter Island and partially in some areas of southern Chile and Argentina.