Yesterday, up to 54% of the Sun was blocked by the Moon just before sunset, as seen from parts of South America. The maximum of this partial solar eclipse occurred in the Drake Passage between continental South America and Antarctica, but was observed mainly from Chile and Argentina.
From the Pacific coast of Chile, it was even possible to see the rare sight of a “horned sun” at sunset. During the eclipse, the Moon appeared to cross the upper half of the Sun from left to right, from south to north, before sinking below the horizon.
You can see a full eclipse response from Chile courtesy of Timeanddate.com:
Eclipse photographer Jörg Schoppmeyer was one of the few dedicated solar eclipse photographers in Viña del Mar in Chile to capture the rare spectacle of an eclipsed sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Dramatic photos of him are at the top of this article, but he also shot this amazing video and took this stunning image:
The American astronomer, Professor Jay Pasachoff, was also in Viña del Mar, from where he took this image of the eclipse as it began:
Here is the full event near Santiago in Chile, thanks to the Institute of Astrophysics of the Catholic University:
Sunspots were visible during the eclipse, indicating a more active Sun. The Sun is currently approaching “solar maximum” in the mid-2020s. The entire Solar Cycle lasts about 11 years.
The eclipse saw the Moon enter an alignment that will also cause a “Blood Moon” total lunar eclipse at the next full Moon. On Sunday, May 15 and running through Monday, May 16, 2022, the entire “Flower Moon” will turn a spectacular reddish color for 84 minutes and is best seen over North and South America.
when is the next solar eclipse? Saturday’s event was the first solar eclipse of 2022, but not the last. On October 25, 2022, the UK will see about 15% of the Sun blocked by the Moon, while in Russia, near the maximum, it will be more than 80%.
Although Saturday’s event was impressive, a partial solar eclipse does not compare to the spectacle of a total solar eclipse. Only during a total solar eclipse can observers get a brief, naked-eye view of the corona. Even a 99% partial solar eclipse is nothing compared to a total solar eclipse. The two cannot be compared.
While a view of the Sun’s corona, revealed only during precious moments of totality, is the big prize for eclipse chasers, it’s always amazing to be a part of the immense scale of any solar eclipse.
The next total solar eclipse will occur on April 20, 2023 over the Exmouth Peninsula in Western Australia. Timor Leste and West Papua are visited by the shadow of the Moon. It will bring up to 76 seconds of precious totality.
The next total solar eclipse across North America will occur on April 8, 2024 when a 125-mile-wide path of totality visits Mexico, 13 US states, and Canada. On that day, the Moon will block the Sun for up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds.
An eclipse expert has calculated that a whopping 31,625,000 people in the US currently live within the path of that total solar eclipse. It will likely be the largest total solar eclipse of most Americans’ lifetimes, as it is the last major eclipse until 2045.
Disclaimer: I am the publisher of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and author of “The Complete Guide to the Great North American Eclipse of April 8, 2024.”
I wish you clear skies and wide eyes.