Celebrities Flock to South America to See the Total Solar Eclipse

Richard Branson, Brian May and Bill Clinton are a few of the celebrities who are reportedly attending the total solar eclipse in Chile on July 2, 2019.
Richard Branson, Brian May and Bill Clinton are a few of the celebrities who are reportedly attending the total solar eclipse in Chile on July 2, 2019. (Image credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty; Neil Mockford/GC Images; Jack Taylor/Getty)

LA SERENA, CHILE — Among the thousands of "eclipse chasers" heading to Chile and Argentina to witness the Great South American Eclipse on July 2 are several celebrities, who are also making their way to the Atacama Desert to watch the moon cross in front of the sun. 

According to The Times of Chile, the cohort of celebrities who traveled here to watch the total solar eclipse includes astrophysicist and guitarist Brian May of the band Queen, Microsoft's billionaire founder Bill Gates, former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson

The three men will spend their eclipse "glamping," or camping glamorously, with about 230 other affluent visitors who spent upwards of $5,000 on tickets for an elite accommodation service known as the Nomad Eclipse Glamp, according to the local news outlet Ahora Noticias. That camp is located just northeast of La Serena, the first city in South America that will see totality. 

Related: Total Solar Eclipse 2019: Path, Viewing Maps and Photo Guide

Robert Downey Jr., who stars in the "Iron Man" movies, and "Captain America" actor Chris Evans are also rumored to be in the area for the eclipse, but their presence here has not yet been confirmed.

Rihanna fans had a field day with the rumor that the singer and actress was in La Serena to see the total solar eclipse — so much so that her alleged attendance became a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend. However, that rumor was dispelled today (July 1) when the Chilean news outlet Concierto reported that Rihanna is, in fact, nowhere near the continent of South America. She is actually in England watching the International Cricket Council World cup. (Sorry, Rhianna fans!)

Robert Downey Jr., Rihanna and Chris Evans have been widely rumored to be attending the total solar eclipse in South America on July 2, 2019. The rumor about Rihanna, however, turned out to be untrue. (Image credit: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage; Don Arnold/WireImage; Mike Marsland/WireImage)

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at FutureFlight.aero and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at Space.com. As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.