Here's How To Watch Today's Total Solar Eclipse Over Chile And Argentina Via Live Stream

You may not experience a “total eclipse of the heart” today, but you may be able to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. The 2019 South American solar eclipse will darken the skies in Chile and Argentina later this afternoon. People who cannot experience the solar eclipse live, will be able to tune in to livestreams by Slooh and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

The solar eclipse will begin today at 2:24pm EST on the Oeno Island, a British territory in the South Pacific Ocean. It will move onto La Serena, Chile by 3:2pm EST and end at 4:44pm EST just south of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Viewers will be able to tune in at 3:15pm EST to livestreams that are hosted by Slooh or the ESO.

nasa 2017 solar eclipse
The 2017 "Great American Eclipse". Image via NASA

Slooh is a robotic telescope service that offers live views from a variety of observatories. Viewers who join today’s livestream will be able to ask astronomers questions via the Twitter hashtag #Slooh. You can check it out below. The ESO live stream will not include any experts, but will incorporate livestreams from three small telescopes. You can tune in here.

A solar eclipse occurs when the sun is obscured by the moon and the moon is able to cast a shadow on the Earth. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon completely blocks the sun disk, while a partial eclipse occurs when the moon only blocks part of the sun disk. Total eclipses happen about once every eighteen months. Interestingly, a total eclipse occurs in the exact same spot every 360 to 410 years.

The 2019 South American solar eclipse is rather unique. Unlike the 2017 "Great American Eclipse", very few people will even see a partial eclipse today. Paul Cox, Slooh's chief astronomical officer, remarked that the eclipse, “...only makes landfall across a narrow stretch of Chile and Argentina. Having raced across the Pacific Ocean at over 6,000 mph, by the time the Moon's shadow reaches the west coast of Chile, the Sun will be low to the horizon, with the partial eclipse phases occurring just as the Sun is setting.”

It is also the only full solar eclipse that will occur in 2019. The next eclipse will take place on December 26th, 2019 and it will be visible in countries such as Saudi Arabia, India, and the Philippines. It will be a “ring of fire” eclipse. Ring of fire eclipses happen when the moon obscures the sun while the sun is near its apogee. It is likely that this interesting eclipse will also be livestreamed.