Total Eclipse Was 'Greatest Ever' for Astronomers

Path included powerful observatories
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2019 4:06 AM CDT
Total Eclipse Wows Chile, Argentina
A man stands under a total solar eclipse in La Higuera, Chile, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Northern Chile is known for clear skies and some of the largest, most powerful telescopes on Earth are being built in the area, turning the South American country into a global astronomy hub.   (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Eclipse-watchers from around the world gathered in South America on Tuesday for the last total eclipse of the decade. As the moon passed between the Earth and the sun, a 6,000-mile band of darkness caused by its shadow stretched across northern Chile and Argentina, as well as uninhabited Oeno Atoll in the Pitcairn Islands, the BBC reports. A less spectacular partial eclipse was visible in much of the rest of South America. Forbes notes that this was "the greatest eclipse ever" for astronomers: The path of totality included three world-class observatories, including the European Southern Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert, where $2,000 tickets to watch the eclipse alongside astronomers sold out in three minutes. The next solar eclipse will be visible in the same region on Dec. 14, 2020, while North Americans will have to wait until April 8, 2024. (Read more eclipse stories.)

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