Advice for the solar eclipse

Here you will find all the recommendations you shouldn’t ignore to have a unique view during the eclipse of 2019.

Check the solar eclipse sequence and its phases

This July 2, there will be a solar eclipse that occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. Its different phases show how the sun’s image gradually goes from partially to totally hidden. It is believed that the totally hidden image of the sun can only be observed in the Umbra strip between the Atacama and Coquimbo regions. This total solar eclipse (the sun will be 100% covered) lasts a maximum of 2 minutes and 34 seconds. This is how AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, graphs it. (Ask for permission) Look over the solar eclipse sequence and its phases.

How to safely watch a solar eclipse

  • Do not look at the solar eclipse directly, always use special goggles with filters that safely reduce sunlight and block the ultraviolet and infrared solar radiation. Make sure you buy them in a formalized business to ensure they have adequate certification. A few pages where you can find sunglasses are www.rainbowsymphony.com and www.eclipseglasses.com.
  • Before putting on your special glasses, check that the filter is in perfect condition, without damages, scratches or perforations, and that it is less than 3 years old.
  • You must wear your glasses before looking at the sun and before the solar eclipse begins. How? Follow these steps: look at the ground, put on your eclipse glasses and look at the sun only when your eyes are covered.

 

  • In places where there will be a partial solar eclipse (less than 99%), glasses should be used at all times. The only exceptions are the umbra zones, where there will be a total solar eclipse (Atacama and Coquimbo regions). In these areas, the moon completely blocks the bright sun and the sky becomes quite dark. There will be a brief phase of ” totality” when you will not see be able to see anything through the glasses. At that time, you could remove them, without harming your eyes, and see the crown. Be ready to wear them again once the moon has fully passed and the sun begins to reappear.

Know the alternatives to watch the solar eclipse in Chile without special glasses

  • An alternative method is the pinhole projection: cross your extended and slightly open fingers of one hand over the extended and slightly open fingers of the other. With your back to the sun, watch the projection of your hands’ shadow on the ground closely. The small spaces between your fingers will project a grid of small images on the ground, showing the sun as a half moon during the partial phases of the eclipse.

 

  • Another safe option is to use a pinhole type viewer made from a cereal box, aluminum foil and tape. It’s a fun craft to make with your children!
  • A secure pinhole projector with binoculars can also be useful to watch the eclipse with a large group. This is a way to enhance what you see through a pinhole viewer.

How to make an eclipse observatory or a homemade pinhole projector

  • It’s very simple. You just need some thick paper or cardboard. At its center, use a pin to drill a small hole and place a second piece of cardboard on the floor to project the eclipse onto. Stand with your back to the sun and try not to cover the hole in the cardboard you are holding down on the ground with your head.
  • You must align the projector well and you will see a perfect circle on the other piece of cardboard that is on the floor. The circle’s edges will sharpen as you approach or move the projector away from the ground. During a partial eclipse, the circle will shrink and become a crescent and during a total eclipse, it will become an O with thin edges.
  • Although the image that is projected is small, it is an ideal alternative if you are accompanied by children.

What you should not use to watch a solar eclipse

It is not recommended to watch eclipses through a normal camera, telescopes, binoculars, sunglasses, any kind of glasses, tinted windows, exposed color films or other unfiltered optical devices. None of these elements protect your eyes since the ultraviolet and infrared waves can pass through these objects and cause damage.

Recommendations for photographing an eclipse

When you look at or photograph the partial phases of a solar eclipse, you should use filters. “Full opening” and “off-axis” filters are safe for cameras and telescopes. These filters fit over both the front end of the telescope and the camera lens.
The full opening solar filters are preferred. This is because the filter covers the front of the telescope completely and the entire mirror or lens is used. It will not be necessary to refocus the telescope or camera lens when you remove the filter at the beginning of the “totality” phase or when you put it back on after this phase is over.

Interesting techniques to watch the eclipse

Did you know? Trees can be very helpful when watching an eclipse.

Try looking at the images that are projected from the sun onto the ground through the space between the leaves. You can also use a white cardboard sheet to capture the images and achieve a great visual experience. You only have to cut a small square in the paper, stick a piece of aluminum foil to it, prick a hole with a pin and reflect the eclipse from the intervened paper to another where it is projected. An interesting fact is that an eclipse can confuse animals, causing them to make strange sounds in the dark.

Advice to be a responsible tourist

           

We want you to have a good experience at the destination you will visit, so please follow our recommendations.

Enjoy astrotourism in Chile

View tourism as a way of exchanging experiences, as a cultural encounter and opportunity for personal enrichment. The astrotourist experience will leave you memories of your trip through Chile. Discover the several other night events that you can enjoy throughout the year. Find out  what these are and become a fan of our page.

Plan your trip in advance

Find out about the place you will visit, from its culture and heritage to its tourist attractions, available services and especially the best places to watch the 2019 solar eclipse  that will take place in Chile. This way you can plan your trip in advance.

Preserve the destination’s natural environment

Take care of the environment during your visit, enjoying your natural surroundings without altering ecosystems or harming flora and fauna species. Throw away garbage at indicated spots and ask if it is possible to recycle and how. Make rational use of resources that could be scarce at the destination (water or energy).

Be a respectful tourist

Be respectful of the local community, its customs, traditions and established regulations. Take care and value the cultural heritage of the destination you visit. Do not damage it. Respect the rest hours rights of other tourists.

Be an informed tourist

Comply with local laws and regulations, respect human rights and protect children from exploitation in any of its forms, find out how and where to receive medical assistance, about your destination’s weather and about the tourist information offices.

Adventure tourism safety

Make sure that the adventure tourism company is registered in Sernatur. Search for it and review the recommendations that you should consider before taking part in the activity

Support your destination’s local economy

Choose locally crafted items and products made in the destination, treat local sellers and artisans with respect, buy tours in established and formal businesses and inquire about legal restrictions on products when leaving Chile.

Take care of our wild, patrimonial and archaeological areas

Choose routes that have the least impact on the landscape, always choosing to travel on paths and existing roads. Prefer guided tours. Respect signs and indications. Do not take natural resources such as fossils, plants, etc. This helps maintain infrastructure in protected areas.

Take advantage of the opportunity to see Chile

Before and after the eclipse there are many places you can go to enjoy a beautiful experience. Find out more about the activities that will be carried out before and after the natural phenomenon, especially those related to the observation of winter stars and constellations.

Don’t run out of money

Organize your money and purchases well, as many people who travel to Atacama and Coquimbo will visit the ATMs and shops with online payment. Make your purchases early and check that your vehicle has gas.

Drive carefully

Remember that the solar eclipse will end at 5:47 PM and then the sun will hide on the horizon. Many people will visit Atacama and Coquimbo to enjoy the total eclipse and then the sunset, so the roads and highways could experience traffic. Drive carefully, many drivers will also be new to the area, follow chilean police’s recommendations.

Bring warm clothes

If you travel to Atacama or Coquimbo to enjoy the total solar eclipse, consider taking appropriate clothing, as the temperature drops a few degrees during the phenomenon. Once the eclipse is over, the sunset will take place. Remember that it is winter and we want you to take care of, and fully enjoy, yourself.