One of the most fascinating events taking place every few years is the solar eclipse – a truly mesmerizing moment everyone should experience; the question is, what’s the best place to see the solar eclipse for 2020? There are different ways to enjoy it, and we’ll give you a breakdown of how you can best see the eclipse depending on your area.
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse is an astronomical occurrence whereby the Earth’s moon obscures the sun for a short period of time. This blocks rays and casts a shadow on parts of the Earth, appearing as a night sky for a brief few minutes. Depending on the Earth’s axis, the eclipse is fully visible in only certain parts of the world.
Since its occurrence in the United States in 2017, increased in eclipse events has greatly risen. That’s normal! The stars bring us many amazing things to observe – from comets, meteors, and the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights). Now’s your chance to watch something equally as incredible.
If you’re interested in catching a unique solar event, keep reading! We have a handy guide for this year’s solar eclipse event.
Before we start diving into the best ways to catch the solar eclipse, make sure you take the necessary precautions:
- Have an eclipse viewer ready – you can make one yourself, or, wear special shades equipped with solar filter sheets
- NEVER look directly at an eclipsed sun – serious damage can occur to your eyes – unless you have solar eclipse glasses on
- Make sure your area will fall directly under the eclipse – if not, prepare to make travel plans
If you choose sunglasses, they must be the appropriate kind – standard UV protection shades will not work. Make sure said shades follow protective standards.
There are also other specific details to keep in mind. The eclipse is expected to occur on July 2nd, 2020 and will start at 12:55PM EDT. In general, it’s expected it will last 4:30 minutes, though observation of a total eclipse may only be visible to those on boats or planes since it’s occurring over the Pacific Ocean.
Where to Go
The eclipse is expected to appear closest to the southern hemisphere region, specifically the South Pacific region around Chile and Argentina. A partial eclipse will occur around areas in South America.
These are the primary places the Solar Eclipse is expected to occur for indirect observation are the following:
- Santiago, Chile
- La Sille, Chile
- Sun Juan, Argentina
- Rico Cuarto, Argentina
The partial eclipse times will occur starting at 3:22PM, expected to reach full eclipse by 4:38PM.
Other areas will experience only a partial eclipse, starting at 3:21PM. They are as follows:
- Cordoba, Argentina
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Montevideo, Uruguay
Now that you have an idea on the best place to see the solar eclipse, you might be curious to know more about it! The solar eclipse as an event has a long history, observed by human ancestors for thousands of years. With the use of astronomy, however, scientists have been able to learn more about it beyond an unusual event occurring every few years.
Fun Facts about the Solar Eclipse
- At least two solar eclipses can occur each year, with up to five at most (though no more than this).
- Eclipses most often occur around May.
- The solar eclipse is only possible with a New Moon phase.
- A solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse are not the same thing – though both involve the Earth’s moon.
- According to historical data, an exact solar eclipse can only occur ever 375 years – as in, the same area sees an obscured sun.
- In total, exactly 7107 solar eclipses have occurred over the past 3000 years.
- The longest solar eclipse recorded was seven minutes long in 1973.
- During a solar eclipse, the temperature generally drops around 20 degrees. That’s really cold and dark!
- The sun is about 400 times larger than the moon – but because it’s 400 times farther way, the moon is able to perfectly obscure it.
- Every planet in the solar system can have their own solar eclipse, except for the moonless worlds Venus and Mercury.
- During the eclipse, the moon’s shadow moves across earth at 1000MPH. It may not seem fast but it is!
- Too bad we can’t get to Jupiter! A solar eclipse on the gas giant takes place every 40 hours or so!
- The moon is very, very slowly moving away from Earth, meaning solar eclipses won’t be possible in another 500 million years.
- The solar eclipse has interesting meanings for ancient cultures – vikings believed a wolf was devouring the sun, and the chinese believed a dragon was devouring a sun.
- 2017 was excited for the US – since the last solar eclipse hadn’t been seen since 1991!
- The first recorded sighting of a solar eclipse was around 5000 years ago in Ireland.
- There is a “total” and “partial” solar eclipse – changing based on the area, time, and position of the Earth and Moon.
- You can see a solar eclipse courtesy of the United States Postal Service…on a stamp!
And there are plenty more interesting facts too! Of course, we can’t go over them all, but think of these fascinating things when looking for the best place to see the solar eclipse.
Watching the Solar Eclipse
Aside from seeing the eclipse physically (and again, we cannot stress enough the proper methods to watch it, do not risk your eyesight) – you can also watch streams and webcasts of it! This is handy if you’re not exactly capable of getting a hotel in time or can’t make a stop out in the ocean.
We have two recommendations for you (both free):
- Space.com will be doing a livestream of the event!
- YouTube will also have a webcast of the eclipse! Set a reminder!
Whether it’s your first time or you’re a regular hunting down the event, there’s a lot of fun to be had when catching an eclipse. Especially if you have a solar telescope! Hopefully, we’ve given you options for the best places to see the solar eclipse – either out in the Pacific or from the comfort of your home. Regardless, tune in for this breathtaking Occurrence!