The endless day during austral summer in Antarctica Deeper was interrupted at dawn this Saturday for just over an hour of darkness caused by a total eclipse of the sun.
At 7:00 GMT, the Moon began to hide the sphere of the Sun, to reach the whole -moment of absolute concealment of the sphere of the star- at 7:33 GMT, for one minute and 54 seconds at the point of maximum duration, the shadow of the Moon projected on the Earth made the night in the middle of the frozen continent.
The eclipse ended at 08:06 GMT after one hour and six minutes from its beginning.
A Solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is located between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth and blocking all or part of the Sun’s light. For a total solar eclipse to occur, the Sun, Moon and Earth must be aligned
Starting at 7:00 GMT this Saturday, the Moon interposed before the Sun and cast a shadow on the Earth until reaching the total solar eclipse, when the three spheres were aligned in a straight line, a phenomenon that could be seen in its fullness from the Antarctica.
The white continent was the only and privileged place in the world where, in some of its areas, this total eclipse could be seen in full, while in other areas of the planet a partial solar eclipse was experienced.
At least five teams of scientists from Chile settled 1,000 kilometers from the south pole to observe this astronomical landmark
The only international viewing point deep in Antarctica was Union Glacier Base, 1,000 km north of the South Pole, 2,000 km south of the international bases in Antarctica -on King George Island- and 3,000 km from Punta Arenas, Chile’s southernmost city on the continent.
In that place, only US scientists, NASA, Chilean researchers and some tourists – who have paid $ 40,000 for the trip to an extreme tourism company – were the only witnesses on the planet who observe the total eclipse live.
Base, inaugurated by Chile in 2014, It barely has a few tents or tents in the middle of a frozen desert at -15 degrees Celsius, surrounded by the Elsword Mountains that prevent the arrival of extreme winds that run through the interior of the Antarctic territory.
The facility – managed and managed by the Armed Forces of Chile- shares location with US private company camp Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions LLC, which operates the aerodrome where the Chilean Air Force planes land to deliver logistics and personnel.
“This base is the only one that is on the path of the shadow of the eclipse, there is no other previous location within the Antarctica that is on the path of total darkness. There is a path that passes over the sea, where I understand there are plans to observe from boats, but then its journey will cover the great ice sheets of the continent, “said Patricio Rojo, doctor in astrophysics and leader of one of the research teams at the University of Chile that traveled to Antarctica.
The USACH scientists stationed there sought during the eclipse to analyze the abrupt changes that occur only during this astronomical phenomenon.
The academic of the University of Santiago, Chile (USACH), Raúl Cordero, explained that the goal was measure how absolute darkness along the strip of totality does or does not generate changes in ozone proportions, since this chemical compound is an important parameter in this area, where the hole in the ozone layer is more notable than in any other part of the planet. Darkness or a sudden drop in temperatures are elements of this “disturbance” caused by the shadow of the Moon projected on the earth’s surface that can only be measured during eclipses.
The last eclipse that could be seen from Antarctica occurred on November 23, 2003 and another will not be seen until 2039. Chile witnessed a total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020 and July 2, 2019.