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Featured Image Credit: PA
On 2nd July 2019, the Moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun creating the rare spectacle of a Total Solar Eclipse. Named the '2019 South American Total Solar Eclipse', it will be the first of its kind since August 2017 and promises to be quite the space show if you know where to look. We've got all the details below.
What is a Total Solar Eclipse?
An eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. The Moon blocks the light of the Sun and a shadow of the Moon is cast on the Earth's surface.
Once the Sun is totally eclipsed, only the Sun's 'crown' can be seen shining in all directions around the Moon. This is a Total Solar Eclipse.
Where can I see it?
NASA predicts the eclipse's path of totality will fall over Chile and Argentina. But other parts of South America, such as Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay will get to see a partial eclipse of the Sun.
Unfortunately, this means the UK will be completely left out.
Chief Astronomical Officer at the Slooh Observatory, Paul Cox, said: "The 2019 South American solar eclipse is not an easy event to capture.
"Unlike the 2017 eclipse, the path of totality (the 90-mile wide path of the Moon's umbral shadow) only makes landfall across a narrow stretch of Chile and Argentina.
"Having raced across the Pacific Ocean at over 6,000mph, 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."
If you do live in the UK, all isn't lost as you can live stream the event here.
When is the solar eclipse?
The eclipse will take place on Tuesday, July 2, shortly after 16:30 local time (20:30 BST).
The moon will first appear to overlap the sun above the Pacific Ocean at 12:55 EDT (17:55 BST).
Totality will first be seen over Oeno Island, a British territory in the South Pacific Ocean, at 10:24 local time (17:24 BST).
The first place in South America to see totality will be near La Serena in Chile, where the total eclipse will be visible at 16:39 local time (20:39 BST).
When is the next Total Solar Eclipse in the UK?
The next eclipse worth seeing will be visible from the UK on 12 August 2026, when there will be a very large partial eclipse across Britain, ranging from around 96% in Cornwall to 91% in Aberdeen. The next total eclipse visible in the UK won't take place until 23 September 2090.
At its longest, the 2090 eclipse will obscure the Sun over Cornwall for about two minutes and 10 seconds.
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