An annular eclipse will take place on February 26, but very few will enjoy a first row sighting from their own home.
On this occasion, the Moon's shadow will sweep a narrow strip of land across southern Argentina and Chile, and central Africa. In Argentina, the maximum visibility lane will be in the Province of Chubut, in Patagonia. This is a land of farms and vast ranches. For many miles, you may only see small herds of guanacos grazing near the road.
In fact, only one city and a couple of very small towns will be able to see the full annularity, with an obscuration of 97.5%. Camarones (shrimps, in Spanish), is a city of about 1500 residents, lying by the shores of the Atlantic, and over 150 miles from the nearest large city. Peaceful, and devoted to farms and fisheries, the city is already preparing for this event and all the attention it will get.
I live in Trelew, one of the nearest cities to Camarones, outside of annularity, but where obscuration will be about 93%. The Trelew Astronomy Center is pairing with the Municipalities of Camarones and Trelew to host public viewing sessions in both cities, with the aid of trained volunteers. In addition, I will offer a couple of Science Cafes in both cities to help local residents better understand this phenomenon. Also, the Trelew Astronomy Center will host a series of public lectures on this topic during the two previous days.
You can help us too...
And last, but not least, we have also paired with Astronomers without Borders to provide local children with eclipse glasses so they can enjoy this unique experience in a safe way at no cost. Many children living in the area come from rural families, and will hardly have another opportunity like this.
To achieve this goal we need your help. AWB just started a campaign to secure enough funds to distribute up to 2,000 glasses to children in Camarones, Trelew, Facundo, Esquel and nearby communities. Just 1 US dollar will make it possible for a child to enjoy the phenomenon at its best.
It is easy to donate. Just visit: https://www.fiatphysica.com/campaigns/send-solar-glasses-to-argentina
And stay tuned! More updates on this eclipse soon.
More on the Trelew Astronomy Center: www.facebook.com/astrotrelew (In Spanish)
Map credit: F. Espenak/ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov)