A partial solar eclipse occurs today (April 30) over parts of South America, Antarctica and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Here’s what skywatchers can expect.
The solar eclipse will begin at 2:45 p.m. EDT (1845 GMT), when it will first be visible to skywatchers in the far southeastern Pacific near the coast of Antarctica. The maximum eclipse will happen a couple of hours later, at 4:41 p.m. EDT (2041 GMT), before the ending at 6:37 p.m. EDT (2237 GMT), according to Timeanddate.com.
Today’s eclipse is the first of two partial eclipses to occur in 2022. The next will take place on Oct. 25, when the moon will block a portion of the sun for viewers in Europe, western Asia and northeast Africa.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun. Today’s celestial event is a partial eclipse, meaning the moon will only partly obscure the sun for some viewers on Earth, giving the sun a crescent shape.
However, the portion of the sun blocked by the moon varies depending on the viewer’s location. Today, a maximum of 64% of the sun’s disk will be obscured by the moon for viewers just south of the southern tip of South America, according to NASA.
Unfortunately, today’s eclipse will only be visible from sparsely-populated areas in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, the Antarctic and some South America countries, such as Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru.
For viewers located within the eclipse’s path, it’s important to wear special protective eyewear or certified eclipse glasses in order to safely observe the sun — especially during a partial eclipse when much of the sun is still visible. Never look at the sun directly with your eyes or use the wrong gear, as this can burn your retinas and cause irreparable damage to your eyes.
Editor’s Note: If you snap an amazing solar eclipse photo and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to [email protected].