The moon’s dark umbral shadow touched the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand at 18:15 UT and then raced across the Pacific to southern Chile and Argentina. Along the way, it fell mostly on open ocean, making landfall only at the Cook Islands, parts of French Polynesia, and Easter Island. The eclipse ended as the sun set in southern Argentina at 20:52 UT. During its 2 hour and 40 minute journey, the umbra traveled a distance of some 6,900 miles (11,100 km).
View the eclipse path +
Of all the dramatic displays that nature treats us to, a total eclipse of the sun is the most awe-inspiring. It begins with a gradual darkening of the sky that progresses to an eerie gray. It’s strangely quiet, prompting people to speak just above a whisper as they watch a flat, black disk slide slowly across the sun. The moment when the last crescent of sunlight vanishes is unnerving, recalling ancient fears that an eclipse was signaling the end of the world. Then suddenly the sun’s corona bursts forth—a shimmering halo of light that seems to surround a black hole in the sky. This is the magic moment; this is why eclipse chasers are willing to travel to the ends of the earth. Then the moon moves on, uncovering a sliver of sunlight, and everyone cheers the sun’s return.
Got an image of a solar eclipse or eclipse event? How about a favorite sun-watching or shadow-watching activity? We invite you to share your images relating to eclipses and solar observation with the Exploratorium Eclipse Flickr Group.