IAU100 Events Observe Total Solar Eclipse
2 July 2019
Students in India observing the Sun during the IAU100 100 Hours of Astronomy in July 2019. Credit: Naleem Mishra
Today on 2 July, the Moon completely covers the Sun during a total solar eclipse. This eclipse’s totality passes over the South Pacific Ocean followed by part of Argentina and Chile. A variety of events are taking place in Argentina and Chile to celebrate and observe the total solar eclipse.
A total solar eclipse is one of the most impressive events that can be observed in nature. On 2 July, people Argentina and Chile will be witness of a total solar eclipse whereas people in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Nicaragua and Venezuela will observe different degrees of eclipse partiality. The first location that will observe the eclipse will be at 16:55:13 UTC and the maximum of the eclipse will be at 19:22:57 UTC. For those who cannot experience the solar eclipse in person, you can stream it here.
Among the many of the events celebrating the total solar eclipse:
During two minutes of totality, a team of astronomers from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and students from the University of La Serena will be attempting to detect the deflection of starlight caused by the Sun’s gravitational field. This initiative aims to recreate the experiment conducted 100 years ago during the solar eclipse observed on 29 May 1919 that confirmed Einstein’s General Relativity Theory and subsequently deeply changed our conception of the Universe.
With support from the IAU100 Special Projects call, the LightSound programme has distributed a special tool to 21 communities throughout Argentina and Chile for those who are visually impaired and auditorily oriented to experience the variation of light intensity during the solar eclipse in real-time (through sound). The device allows participants to record light intensity accurately while listening to the sound of the eclipse through the provision of digital instructions and code to use the instrument.
The Third Workshop on Dissemination and Education of Astronomy (WDEA III) will take place in the city of San Juan, Argentina, on July 4th and 5th, 2019, after the total solar eclipse. In this opportunity, and due to the central event of the week, WDEA III will be developed in association with the scientific meeting: "Towards Future Research on Space Weather Drivers" (FRESWED2019) which will be held in the city of San Juan between July 2nd and 6th, 2019.
The IAU100 Einstein Schools project has been coordinating activities in schools worldwide that encourage the understanding of gravity in modern astronomy. This includes how gravity can bend star light and how this bending can be detected during a solar eclipse and other topics such as gravity waves and space-time.
In addition, hundreds of individual activities related to the eclipse are taking place, especially in Argentina and Chile, to celebrate and observe the solar eclipse. The full events list can be explored here.
Jorge Rivero González