For the second time in 14 years, on the morning of June 8, an eclipse of the sun is set to have huge audiences across the Western Hemisphere. Last year, 16 million people in Chile and Argentina witnessed a total solar eclipse for three minutes and 46 seconds, with views of a full eclipse from Geneva, Switzerland, to Washington, D.C.
Viewing will be, in many places, more spectacular — and riskier — than any previous total solar eclipse, as hordes of people are set to track the path across the sky.
To give people a heads-up on how to safely enjoy the viewing experience and emergencies during an eclipse, here is an interactive map and the basics for safe viewing.
Who should take in a total solar eclipse?
As the name implies, people wanting to watch the eclipse should be within about two-thirds of the moon’s width (one-seventh of the sun), about 1,450 miles in length. For the uninitiated, people should keep these conclusions in mind:
Kids should stay out of the way, visible only when the moon’s shadow hits land.
Viewers who are terrified of dying in an accident should stay far away, since they should not be walking by the sky at any point of view.
For some extreme eclipse viewers, like whales and pandas, those distances from the surface of the earth are close enough to believe that you would see an eclipse before the sun’s surface, which is obscured during an eclipse, would set.
The centimeter measuring tools used to characterize the sun’s surface can accurately gauge its size at a distance of nine-tenths of a mile.
When should you go to the viewing?
The moon will safely cover at least 70 percent of the sun, but the eclipse begins to end within two minutes and 57 seconds after the first of two total totality moments, at 10:32 a.m. EDT. That means, almost immediately after the moon’s shadow enters the Earth’s atmosphere, the real sun will set on the horizon.
For maximum eclipse, view the sun at its peak (as called by the astronomer Louis L’Amour in a 1954 photograph), however, go 20 minutes or more before totality, when the total eclipse last its full duration.
Where can I watch the eclipse?
If you’re in Latin America, you’ll have the best view of an eclipse, because the Sun will be hidden for most of the Earth’s surface. It will also be there for the US East Coast, although a wide swath of America will have about a 90 percent view of the total eclipse, and parts of northern Africa, South Africa and East Asia will have only about a 60 percent view.
Cities that will have a good view include:
Lima, Peru; Rosario, Argentina; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile; Iquique, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; Cartagena, Colombia; Monterrey, Mexico; Guadalajara, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; Isla de la Frontera, Colombia; Itabora Beach, Costa Rica; Boracay, Philippines; and Baia do Sancho, Brazil.
Additional viewing points around the world, except in Europe and Africa, are: