A TOTAL solar eclipse is happening today.
It will be the only solar eclipse of 2020 but is only visible in a select few countries.
This image was captured today in ArgentinaCredit: AP:Associated Press
Where is the solar eclipse happening?
The solar eclipse has already occurred in some countries.
It will be a total eclipse for viewers across a narrow region of the South Pacific, Chile, Argentina and the south Atlantic Ocean.
A partial eclipse should be visible from the Pacific, southern South America and Antarctica.
The region where the solar eclipse was visibleCredit: Instagram
The difference is just that a total eclipse means the Moon fully covers up the Sun whereas a partial eclipse means you can still see some of the Sun.
It will not be visible in the UK or the US.
What time is the solar eclipse happening?
In some countries the total solar eclipse has already happened.
The partial eclipse began at 13:33 GMT (8:33 ET) for viewers in the Pacific Ocean.
This ended at 14:32 GMT (9:32 ET).
Certain regions of Argentina would have seen the eclipse from around 16:13 GMT (11:13 ET).
This ended at 17:54 GMT (12:54 ET).
Some people in South America will still be able to see a partial eclipse until 18:53 GMT (1:53 ET).
How to watch the solar eclipse
Most people will need to watch the solar eclipse onlineCredit: AFP or licensors
People have been watching the total and partial solar eclipse live on YouTube.
If you do happen to be in a country where it is visible with the naked eye then remember you should never look directly at the Sun.
You can always invest in “solar-viewing glasses” or “eclipse glasses”.
When is the solar eclipse over the UK?
Solar eclipses are fairly common, with between two and five happening every year.
A total eclipse happens around once every 18 months.
The next eclipse is a total solar eclipse, will be on December 4, 2021.
An annular eclipse, which means a ring of the Sun will still be visible, is set to happen on June 10 2021.
This will be visible in the UK.
Unfortunately, the UK will not see a total solar eclipse again until September 23, 2090.
Solar eclipses are a rare celestial event that can be seen from Earth
What is a solar eclipse?
Here’s what you need to know…
- A solar eclipse is a rare natural phenomenon that darkens the sky
- It happens when you’re in the shadow cast by the Moon, which is fully blocking the Sun
- This only happens when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned on a straight line
- A total eclipse is when the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon
- Total solar eclipses will occur somewhere on Earth approximately every 18 months
- Eclipses were considered ominous by ancient cultures, because the Sun disappears during the day in minutes
- However, solar eclipses are now a very popular spectacle that can attract tourists
- It’s important to not look directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse, as it can lead to permanent eye damage, and even blindness
- It’s recommended that people use special eye protection, or watch the event on screens instead
In other space news, the biggest meteor shower of 2020 reached its peak brightness in the early hours of this morning.
Britain is to launch a spacecraft next year in a mission to ambush a comet and unlock mysteries of the universe.
And, Nasa has announced its first team of astronauts that will be heading for the Moon.
Have you ever watched a solar eclipse? Let us know in the comments…
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