(TELESUR) – Latin America – Day will briefly turn to night Tuesday over large parts of Chile and Argentina as a total eclipse of the Sun plunges a vast swath of the southern Pacific and the cone of South America into darkness.
Both countries will be under the narrow, 6,000-mile long band that will experience a total eclipse when the Moon will completely block the Sun.
According to Chilean astronomers, the breathtaking natural phenomenon will begin at 1:01 p.m. local time (5:01 p.m. GMT) in the Pacific Ocean and a 95 mile (150 kilometer)-wide band of total darkness is set to reach Chile’s coast 4:38 p.m. (8:38 p.m. GMT), then cross into southeastern Argentina.
People in some areas under the path of the eclipse will experience more than two minutes of total darkness, the Chilean Foundation of Astronomy says.
An estimated 300,000 tourists have flocked to the region where dryness, crystal-clear air and low light pollution has created a stargazers’ paradise.
Thousands of people have descended on the nearby town of La Higuera, located on the so-called “path of totality,” where the eclipse is predicted to last longest, around 2 minutes and 36 seconds.
“The 2019 total solar eclipse will last about 1 minute and 52 seconds from the La Silla summit. The next total eclipse will be visible in southern Chile on December 14, 2020.