It’s not very often that we here in Argentina have the privilege of having something the rest of the world doesn’t. You’ve probably realized that trends and tendencies usually arrive a tad late to these parts of the world. But this Tuesday, July 2nd we’ll finally have the opportunity to brag since we’re going to be one of only two countries (Chile being the other) to experience a total solar eclipse in all its glory. So suck on that, world.
The natural phenomenon will take place at 4:30 PM and will last two full hours in Argentina, with six provinces enjoying the spectacle in its totality: San Juan, La Rioja, San Luis, Córdoba, Santa Fe, and Buenos Aires (only in some cities in the greater Buenos Aires area, though, since people in Capital Federal will only be able to see it partially).
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon, our natural satellite, stands between the Earth and the Sun. Thus, the Moon hides the Sun from the perspective of the Earth, with the three celestial bodies aligned with each other. The last such eclipse that could be seen from the Argentine mainland occurred on November 13th, 2010 and was marginally visible in a small region south of Patagonia. One previous eclipse took place on November 3rd, 1994, with better visibility from northern Argentina.
As mentioned before, this time around the phenomenon will be experienced only partially in Buenos Aires: 99 percent of its entirety, to be exact. But that 1 percent is significant though, as it prevents the sky from going dark. The nearest area to experience the whole thing in full is to travel to Franklin, a town in San Andrés de Giles – located 100 kilometers from the capital – in which the entire sun will be covered almost a minute and a half, around 5:43 PM. This might be the only reason in your life (or anybody’s life) to go to San Andrés de Giles so why not take advantage of it?
It’s always important to remember that there are several safety tips to keep in mind during an eclipse, mainly not to stare at the thing like you’re, I don’t know, the sitting president of the United States, for example. In your eye, you have a lens. If you stare at the sun, this lens concentrates a spot of sunlight on your retina, and it burns it too. The light is so intense that it kills cells on your retina. If you want to look directly at a solar eclipse, you’re going to need some protective eyewear. You should always use special lenses that have a filter that blocks the harmful rays of the sun. These filters must comply with the standard and be labeled ISO 12312-2. You can also go for the welding helmet that makes you look like a serial killer, just keep in mind that it has to be grade 12 or higher for it to work.
We leave you now with the perfect soundtrack for Tuesday afternoon. Tip: If you start playing it at 4:28 PM, you hit the kickass chorus by the time the sky goes dark. Talk about epic.