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I live in South America and I'm willing to travel to Chile in July 2019 to observe (in a curious way, not professional) the Solar Total Eclipse.

According to my research, one of the best cities to observe the eclipse is in the coastal city of La Serena at 3:20 PM Local Time. However, I don't know if it can be seen from "anywhere". I was thinking of observing it from the beach. Does that make sense?

I also know that I need some kind of special sunglasses for safety. I found some on Ebay but I don't know if they are authentic. I would appreciate if someone could point me to a website that sells authentic eclipse glasses for a reasonable price and international shipping.

In short, my question is, will I be able to amazingly see the eclipse by just traveling to La Serena and go to the beach on the specific day and time? Is there a better place to see it? Is it better to see it from a high ground? Any tips are welcome.

Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ There are strong warnings to not see the eclipse with your own eye. It can make you blind. Don't do it. At the time when I've seen a total eclipse, I simply wanted to see it with my own eyes. I did it only for some seconds, with continuously moving eye (i.e. I didn't watch the Sun, I looked over a line on the sky). My goal was that the focus of the ultraviolet rays shouldn't ever hit a single point on my retina, instead they should move on a line on it. I did not experience any bad, not even my eyesight has worsened, but I am not sure that it was an acceptable risk. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica May 1 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, so is it okay. Try to use devices which were designed exactly for this task, I am not sure if simple welding goggles would be okay. The reason is that the eclipse hides more the visible light than the ultraviolet. Ultraviolet light damages your eye, without you would see it, thus your reflexes to close the eye, to narrow the pupil and similars, don't activate. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica May 1 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ A large mass of shoppers will appear, all of them will try to sell cheap glasses. In a non-3rd-world county, you can trust them. But beware, buy them yet before the eclipse, because they will become worthless after the eclipse is done. So the shoppers will disappear already before the eclipse, and you will be on the beach, without glasses. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica May 1 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ You can have a look at NASA's website, concerning Safety when viewing eclipses. Also, they published a list of Reputable Vendors of eclipse glasses. For the 2019 eclipse, it would indeed be visible from the beach, however, there is a higher risk of clouds and/or fog on the coast. Places in the interior, like Vicuna, have better weather prospects, but the eclipse is low so the positioning is more critical if you don't want the sun to be hidden behind mountains. $\endgroup$ – FSimardGIS May 2 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ Shade level 4 welder glass is safe. WITHOUT MAGNIFYING DEVICES. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista May 4 at 6:21
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The Eclipse will be visible from the La Serena Beach (weather permitting). The eclipse will start at 1522, but totality won't be reached until 1638. Totality will last for about 2 minutes. However, there is a higher risk of clouds and/or fog on the coast. Places in the interior, like Vicuna, have better weather prospects, but the eclipse is low so the positioning is more critical if you don't want the sun to be hidden behind mountains. The Argentina side is also an option, and has relatively dry regions near Bella Vista / San Juan.

Total Solar Eclipses attract lots of visitors, so finding accommodation or transport can be difficult.

As noted in comments viewing the partial eclipse without eye protection can cause permanent damage to the retina, you should ensure that you have proper eye protection. You should organise this before you leave. You can have a look at NASA's website, concerning Safety when viewing eclipses. Also, they published a list of Reputable Vendors of eclipse glasses.

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You can get some equipment especially designed for the eclipse.

But don't forget about a simple pinhole camera

Important to note that you shouldn't look through the pinhole. Instead, you are using the pinhole to project an image of the sun on the ground behind you.

The gaps between leaves in a tree act as natural pinholes so if there are any trees around you, you should be able to see lots of eclipse images


One of the easiest ways to safely watch a solar eclipse is to use 2 sheets of cardboard and make your own simple pinhole projector.

A partial solar eclipse projected on cardboard. Solar eclipses can look spectacular, but the Sun’s UV radiation can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness. Make your own pinhole projector to view a solar eclipse.

Projecting the Sun through a box projector, or projecting using binoculars or telescope (edit: shown below), or simply 2 pieces of card is a safe and easy way to view a solar eclipse.

Source

enter image description here

Light filtering through the leaves of trees during a solar eclipse creates images of the crescent sun, like the image created by a pinhole camera. (Bigstock)

Source

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh the projected image from timeanddate.com must have some optics in front of it. Pinhole images are never that bright. $\endgroup$ – Mike G May 7 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeG you are absolutely right. I've added another line from the same article. Good catch! $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 7 at 5:00
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The wrong way

enter image description here

Possibly the right way (adult supervision required)

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Posture appears to be important: head tilted back, mouth ajar, shoulders squared, arms held loosely at the sides. Looks like black clothing with matching optical accessory may also assist, though I think painting the wrought iron in the same colour isn't necessary. $\endgroup$ – Chappo Says Reinstate Monica May 7 at 0:58

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