Home » News & Blogs » Wish you were here? Seven chances to experience a total solar eclipse in the 2020s
Bookmark and Share
Physics World Blog

Wish you were here? Seven chances to experience a total solar eclipse in the 2020s

28 Jun 2019, 13:48 UTC
Wish you were here? Seven chances to experience a total solar eclipse in the 2020s
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

It is one of nature’s most spectacular shows. Next week – for the first time in almost two years – the Earth, Moon and Sun will fall into perfect alignment and produce a total solar eclipse. The Moon’s umbra (the dark part of the Moon’s shadow, where the Sun is completely obscured) will touch down in the South Pacific on 2 July and, in just 2 hours 44 minutes, trace a path of totality that extends more than 11,000 km around the globe.

Yet a total eclipse is also one of nature’s most elusive shows. The path of totality may be thousands of kilometres long, but it is only about 160 km wide. Plus, the umbra seems to enjoy making things complicated. For the first 10,000 km of its journey across the Earth next week, for instance, the only landmass that the umbra encounters will be the remote coral atoll of Oeno (part of the Pitcairn Islands group). And although the umbra completes its journey by crossing Chile and Argentina, the average cloud amount is more than 50% for most of this overland phase.
The point is, catching totality is not a straightforward exercise. You have to make sure you’re ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod