A total solar eclipse is all set to occur today along a stretch of the South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina. Most of the path is over the open ocean, and the moon will extinguish full sunlight for four minutes, 33 seconds in path of totality. Those on the Oeono Island on the Chilean coast will witness the total solar eclipse for around 2 minutes and 53 seconds. The partial solar eclipse is set to start at 12:55pm EDT (around 10:25pm IST), whereas the total solar eclipse will begin at around 6:24pm GMT (around 11:54pm IST). Unfortunately, readers in India will not be able to see the solar eclipse (called ‘surya grahan‘ in Hindi) in the sky. But worry not, here are some ways in which you can catch it live regardless.
How to watch total solar eclipse 2019 live
If don’t live in South America, you will not be able to see Tuesday’s total solar eclipse with your naked eyes. But, that doesn’t mean you will miss it entirely. NASA has partnered with Exploratorium museum of San Francisco to live stream the total solar eclipse today, and you can watch it on the NASA TV live. The live streaming will include live views from telescopes in Vicuna, Chile, from 3pm EDT (12.30am IST on Wednesday) to 6pm EDT (3.30am IST on Wednesday). In this duration, there will be a one-hour program with live commentary in English and Spanish from 4pm EDT (1.30am IST on Wednesday) to 5pm EDT (2.30am IST on Wednesday).
The Exploratorium museum of San Francisco will also be live broadcasting the spectacle from 1pm PDT (1.30am IST on Wednesday) to 2pm PDT (2.30am IST on Wednesday) on its website. Apart from the website, you can also watch the live broadcast on the Exploratorium‘s dedicated solar eclipse Android and iOS apps. The museum is looking to send a team to NSF’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, to film the eclipse in the path of totality and let millions of people see the spectacle online.
The European Southern Observatory will also broadcast the 2019 total solar eclipse live from the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Its live stream will begin at 12:15pm PST (12:45am IST on Wednesday). Alternatively, Norway-based site Time and Date will also live stream the upcoming total solar eclipse on its website.
‘Great South American’ solar eclipse
Calling it the ‘Great South American’ Solar Eclipse, many celebrities are reportedly heading to Chile to witness the rare wonder. Space.com reports that astrophysicist and guitarist Brian May of the band Queen, Microsoft’s billionaire founder Bill Gates, former US president Bill Clinton and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson are a few of the celebrities who are attending the total solar eclipse in Chile on July 2.
While people will be thronging to Chile to witness the solar eclipse, teams of scientists will be studying the atmosphere of the Sun and Earth in the fleeting moments of daylight darkness. The sun will remain hidden for 2 minutes and 6 seconds at the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in northern Chile. Four teams will study the Sun’s elusive corona and one team will study eclipse effects on the Earth itself, NSF Program Director David Boboltz said in a statement.
What is a total solar eclipse
For all those unaware, a solar eclipse transpires when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking the light of the Sun from passing through while causing a shadow to appear on the Earth’s surface. A total solar eclipse involves complete blockage of the Sun’s light and can be seen only from a specific area on the earth’s surface that lies on the path of totality. Space.com reports that the path of totality for the 2019 total solar eclipse is a 200km wide strip of land near La Serena, Chile that ends south of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A partial eclipse will be visible in neighbouring countries including Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Brazil. Unfortunately, the solar eclipse won’t be visible in India.
Visibility and weather during total solar eclipse
According to Accuweather, areas in the path of totality will be able to view the eclipse with minimal obstruction as the likelihood of clouds spoiling the experience is very little. However, the weather forecasting firm cautions ‘some clouds are possible’. ‘Clouds will likely spoil the partial eclipse for those in southern Paraguay, southern Brazil, far northern and southern Argentina and southern Chile’, the firm says.