File under: Never Gets Old. In December 2020 we saw our second total solar eclipse and it moved and wowed us every bit as much as the first total solar eclipse we saw in 2019. Here are Eric’s favorite shots from the December 2020 total solar eclipse in Argentina.
From left to right: all of the phases of the December 2020 total solar eclipse in Argentina.
Thanks to the PhotoPills App, we knew that full totality would occur for two minutes and nine seconds near a dot on the map called Catan Lil. Because this eclipse took place during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were only a small number of other skywatchers at this spot and everyone was socially-distanced.
We used the PhotoPills App to plan our viewing spot on the narrow centerline of totality (marked by the grey arcing bar crossing the map). We chose the spot marked by the red pin.
Because our viewing location for the December 2020 total solar eclipse was in the Patagonia region of Argentina, we had to contend with very windy conditions. Note the bag of rocks used to try to hold Eric’s tripod steady. What you can’t see is our truck rocking in the wind.
The first stage of the December 2020 total solar eclipse.
A partial eclipse on the way to full totality.
Various partial phases getting closer to totality.
An instant before (and after) totality a phenomenon known as Baily’s Beads is visible. This is caused by the first rays of light seen through hills and craters on the moon.
During totality, it’s briefly safe to look at the sun without eye protection.
A composite of eclipse phases over the Patagonian landscape.
These red flares are called solar prominences and they’re caused by plasma shooting tens of thousands of miles out of the sun. Each solar prominence is so massive that the earth would be just a fleck within it.
Full totality lasted for two minutes and nine seconds.
The sun’s chromosphere becomes visible during totality.
This Diamond Ring phase is a phenomenon that occurs just before and just after totality.
Towards the end of the eclipse, clouds rolled in which meant the very end of the process wasn’t visible.
Phases of the solar eclipse that we saw over the Patagonia region of Argentina.