The total solar eclipse of July 2, 2019, is the longest one we’ll have until 2027. And that’s not all.
On July 2, 2019, the new Moon will pass between Earth and our Sun, creating a total solar eclipse.
Here’s what you should know before totality occurs over South America.
1.) Only a small sliver of Earth will experience totality.
Chile and Argentina are the only land masses to experience totality this time; the remainder occurs exclusively over oceans.
2.) This is the greatest eclipse ever for astronomers.
Three world-class observatories, including the 8-meter Gemini South, will experience totality.
3.) Optimally situated viewers will experience 4 minutes and 33 seconds of totality.
With Earth near aphelion and the Moon near perigee, it’s nearly twice the duration of 2017’s eclipse.
4.) This is a one-shot deal to gain unparalleled scientific knowledge.
Coronal imaging, spectroscopy, polarization, and emission line data are collectible during totality.
5.) Eclipse viewing is extremely dangerous for astronomical equipment.
A single second of accidental direct-sunlight exposure can ruin the optics on a telescope.
6.) The eclipse will be broadcast across the entire world.
From 7:23 PM to 9:46 PM UTC, The Exploratorium and NASA will partner to live-stream the eclipse worldwide.
7.) Temperatures may drop by over 20 °F (12 °C).
The long duration will bring darker skies, more stars, and improved viewsof the Sun’s extended corona.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.Ethan Siegel is the author of Beyond the Galaxy and Treknology. You can pre-order his third book, currently in development: the Encyclopaedia Cosmologica.