When the moon moves between earth and sun on July 2, 2019, we’ll experience a solar eclipse. This year, the eyes of the world will be on Chile as a total solar eclipse will occur in the northern region of Coquimbo and in the southern part of the Atacama region. The duration of the total phase will be about 2.5 minutes.
A total solar eclipse has occurred only three times in this region in the last 500 years, the first time in 1592 and the last in 1893. This attracts not only locals to observe this event. According to some forecasts, up to 300,000 tourists can be expected to experience this eclipse. Between the conurbations of La Serena and Coquimbo at the end of May, 80% of accommodations were already occupied, according to a survey by the regional chamber of tourism. In order to manage this number of tourists, some localities are supported by the logistics of the regional government.
If you want to learn more about astronomy and the observatories in Chile, you can download the free app “Chile Mobile Observatory”, an initiative of the foundation “Imagen de Chile”. The app was developed especially for this year’s astronomical phenomenon and provides not only information about the solar eclipse but also some of the best images of the universe taken by Chile’s observatories. The app is available in Spanish and English. With this app, “Imagen de Chile” would like to bring Chile’s astronomical development to the hands of national and international users. The CEO of “Imagen de Chile”, Constanza Cea, highlighted that “thanks to the eclipse, the eyes of the world will be on Chile this year”. The development of astronomy is becoming more and more important, and Chile, with its 40 international observatories, is at the forefront.
Despite all the enthusiasm about this event, the protection of the eyes should not be forgotten and special safety glasses with filters should be used. Direct observation of the sun without protection could cause severe eye damage, this also applies to observations through a telescope. Likewise, the solar eclipse shouldn’t be photographed with a mobile phone or a camera without using a filter.