Skip to main content

It's begun! The only total solar eclipse of 2020 is under way

Update for Dec. 14: The only total solar eclipse of 2020 wowed skywatchers in South America despite overcast skies. Read our full story and see the photos here!

This live view of the 2020 total solar eclipse is provided by Slooh. Visit Slooh.com to snap and share your own photos from this live event, and interact with our hosts and guests, and personally control Slooh's telescopes.

In South America, the moon has slipped in front of a sliver of the sun's edge, marking the beginning of what will be the only total solar eclipse of 2020.

This eclipse was difficult to catch in person, since the path of totality crosses huge swathes of ocean and just a thin strip of Chile and Argentina, and traveling is limited because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But plenty of webcasts are on hand to fill the gap.

The moon began passing in front of the sun in some locations at around 9:15 a.m. EST (1415 GMT); Lima, Peru caught an early glimpse of the partial eclipse, although the city isn't in the path of totality.

Related: Total solar eclipse 2020: Here's how to watch it online

Totality will begin about an hour and a half later across a thin strip of Argentina and Chile; if you're watching remotely, you'll want to tune in a bit before 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) to be sure to catch the dramatic moment.

Totality will last a maximum of a little over two minutes. Partial eclipse views will continue for another hour and a half, continuing over South America and briefly grazing Namibia late in the local evening.

Image 1 of 2

The moon partially covers the sun during a total solar eclipse as seen from Piedra del Aquila, Neuquen province, Argentina on December 14, 2020.

(Image credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)
Image 2 of 2

People watch the total solar eclipse in Piedra del Aguila, Neuquen province, Argentina on December 14, 2020.

(Image credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)

(Reminder: If you're lucky enough to observe a solar eclipse in person, do not look directly at the sun with unprotected eyes unless during the brief moment of totality. Otherwise, use eclipse safety glasses.)

Editor's note: If you happen to safely observe the total solar eclipse of 2020 and would like to share the experience with Space.com for a story or slideshow, send images and comments to spacephotos@space.com

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Kim Hickock as our Reference Editor and Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.