All you need to know about the July 2nd sun eclipse in Chile and Argentina
If we talk about the continent, Chile, a part of Argentina, will be the privileged witnesses this coming Tuesday, July 2 of the astronomical event of the year: a total eclipse of the sun that will completely darken a strip of about 140 kilometers in diameter that crosses both countries.
How is Chile prepared?
Hotel reservations have been full for at least a year; air frequencies have tripled, and a special transport and telecommunications plan has been established for the Atacama and Coquimbo regions, where more than 300,000 tourists, scientists, and eclipse hunters are expected to arrive to observe the only total eclipse of the year.
Although the more than 300 clear nights a year make northern Chile a unique destination for observing the sky, the possibility of observing from there the only total eclipse of the year has made the region even more special.
It will be a little more than two minutes of total darkness in the middle of the day, in which the temperature is expected to drop between three and four degrees, among the astonishment of the thousands of people who will remain under this shadow.
In Santiago, the penumbra will reach 92%, so this phenomenon is also awaited with expectation in the Chilean capital.
Most schools will let children out earlier, while some companies announced that they will allow their employees to go out into the street to watch the phenomenon. In recent days, the sale of special lenses to see the eclipse has intensified in Santiago, which was distributed free of charge in the northern regions of the country.
Another Chilean place
In the heart of the Elqui Valley, the city of Vicuña is one of the places where this astronomical phenomenon will be best seen, which here will last two minutes and 25 seconds.
The birthplace of Chilean writer and Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral (1945), this small northern town has been preparing for months to receive the thousands of tourists who will arrive that day at the two official observation sites set up by the municipality: the so-called Pampilla de San Isidro, where there will be cooks, music bands and children's games, and the area along the banks of the Elqui River.
At the foot of the La Silla Observatory, located at 2,400 meters above sea level and operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the official activities will be concentrated.
The observatory will take advantage of the phenomenon to develop seven proposals for astronomical observations. The organization points out that "it is very rare for a solar eclipse to occur over a professional scientific observatory with large telescopes".
40 localities of the Argentine province of Cordoba will be privileged to be able to observe the eclipse of total form, specified Efe Argentine astronomers.
"The fact that the shadow projected by the moon passes through the territory of Cordoba, and here there are places where you can observe the eclipse from above without obstacles to the west, makes us have a privileged situation to observe the eclipse," said astronomer Armando Mudrik, a worker at the scientific interpretation center Plaza Cielo Tierra in the city of Cordoba.
"People are enthusiastic (...) This is an opportunity to bring people closer to science," he said after sharing a series of training they have conducted from the center with children to create a homemade filter and safely look at the eclipse.
A year, the planet may experience between two and four sun eclipses, but the space-time conditions for visualizing such a phenomenon in the same place "occur very rarely," Mudrik said.
This phenomenon can also be seen from areas of the provinces of Buenos Aires, San Luis, San Juan, Santa Fe and a piece of La Rioja.
The next occasion for the territory of Cordoba to enjoy a similar event will take place in 375 years.
Even if it is not seen completely in Colombia, the Planetarium of Medellín recommends that never, for any reason, observe the eclipse directly with uncovered eyes. "Even for a few seconds, this could cause eye injuries and burns to the retina caused by the ultraviolet and infrared rays of sunlight. It's very dangerous, so you have to be especially careful with children," they say on their website.
The sunglasses that are commonly used are not suitable to see the eclipse, yes the glasses or sun visors that are only recommended to use for short observations (maximum 20 seconds in a row). "These are available in specialized stores, online or in the Planetarium store in Medellín.
Be careful with them, because in the market there are low-quality imitations that could be unsafe. At the time of purchase, you must verify that it is a certified brand and that it complies with the international standard ISO 12312-2 (that is what you will need to be protected from the sun while you stare at it).
The American Astronomical Society has an excellent list of manufacturers. If you have an old, wrinkled, cracked visor, or is older than 3 years old, do not use it. It could be dangerous".
Finally, the recommendation is not to see the eclipse through cameras, telephones, telescopes or unprotected binoculars and if the person has a telescope but does not have a proper filter, you can see the projected eclipse.
Argentina will receive tourists from all over the world on July 2
Tourists from several continents, especially America, Asia, and Europe, will arrive in Argentina to see the solar eclipse that will cross several provinces on July 2, according to the Secretariat of Tourism of the Nation (Sectur), which also announced a meeting international ballooning in San Luis for observation.
The solar eclipse will cross the country from west to east and its shadow cone will cover San Juan, La Rioja, San Luis, Cordoba, Santa Fe and the province of Buenos Aires, and will be partial in a large part of the national territory.
The hotel occupancy for that date in San Juan is already full, with current reserves of 98% of the places in that province.
San Juan operators also report that they have sold tours and packages to tourists from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia, Korea, and Japan.
The Secretary of Tourism, Gustavo Santos, maintained that the solar eclipse, when crossing over several provinces (from the north of San Juan to the mouth of the La Plata river, province of Buenos Aires), caused "thousands of tourists from all over the world visit Argentina. "
"Astronomical Tourism is a segment that is in full growth worldwide," said the official, adding that Argentina "has significant potential for its development. In this regard, he explained that the country "that has a strategic location, low light pollution, and the necessary technical and tourist infrastructure in the destinations to accommodate travelers in that segment."
Within the framework of the activities for this solar phenomenon, the provinces of Santa Cruz, Mendoza, and San Luis will host an international hot-air balloon event called Argentina Eclipse Balloon Experience.
The gathering will begin in El Calafate on June 23; will pass through El Chaltén, on the 25th; in Mendoza, it will be concentrated in Puente del Inca, on 28, and in Uspallata, on the 30th, and will culminate in Villa de Merlo on July 2, day of the total eclipse, considered by the Sectur "the most optimal place of the entire route for the observation of the solar phenomenon".
Participate 25 hot air balloons from Germany, China, Spain, the United States, France, Japan, Lithuania, United Kingdom, and Switzerland, among other countries, "enabling the dissemination of powerful images of different Argentine landscapes to the world".