2019 CHILE SOLAR ECLIPSE RESULTS
Stamps issued for this eclipse. E. Herman photo.
This 38-member tour group was led by Dr. Patricia Reiff of Rice University. The ROFE 48 Chile land tour had many eclipse veterans and a few others hoping for their first view of totality. Fortunately, all had a great view from two widely separated locations, and the weather, like the forecast, was terrific in both places.
Chile ROFE 48 group at the Valley of the Moon:
From left, bottom row: Nancy Braithwaite, Bob Hammarberg, Aya St. Pierre, Hui Yang, Sharon Braswell. Standing, from left: David English, Christine Faser, Marcia Torobin, Gillian Beddows, Juliette Sterkins, Max Maxfield (red jacket), Andrew Jorgensen (white hat), Monica Schultz, Larry Aranow (far back), Jeff Pohlman, Julie Aranow behind Paul St. Pierre, Terry Eggleston, Byron Braswell (far back), Stephanie Mardahl, Dee Holisky partly obstructed behind Michelle Lavoie (blue scarf), Joe Malnar, Don Gardner, Torsten Rothenwaldt (hat with drape), Tom Cave, Pat Reiff, Penny Morris-Smith.
The hotel was only two short blocks from the beach, and 16 of the group chose to remain in La Serena because of easier logistics, longer totality and a shorter day. We feared that the crowds would be an issue, but the beach, once all the nearby parking was filled, did not become overcrowded. The presence of the locals cheering and singing added to the enjoyment of the group (Juliette got a great video of the eclipse with the crowd’s reactions). The view of the Sun across the water was spectacular and Eliot Herman, Max Maxfield, Joe Malnar and others got many great photos during the 2 min 15’ of totality. After totality, many gathered in the local restaurant at the beach and shared joys and stories.
The larger portion of the group made the bus ride up the hills to the Collowara Observatory in Andacolla. Tour leader Pat Reiff had chosen Collowara over Mamalucca because of the better weather forecast and the less crowded road to the observing site. The group left at 7:30 after a good breakfast and made it to the Andacolla cultural center in plenty of time for a dance show (with a number of the group volunteering to learn the dances) and a great lunch. After the lunch, we headed to the mountain and the Collowara Observatory (only a few minutes away).
Collowara Observatory. Byron Braswell photo.
The bus parked down the mountain and a shuttle van took the group (in two trips) up to the observatory. The observation site itself was on a peak west of the main observatory and had plenty of room for all to spread out to view the sun across the broad valley. The ROFE group ended up in three areas: one towards the north, one closest to the valley, and the largest group farther south. There was a food truck to provide water and snacks, and a “porta potty”, so that no one had to walk back down before totality, and most stayed for the glorious sunset as well.
Part of the ROFE48 group at the peak of Collowara. P. Reiff photo. From left: Sheila Stephenson,then Larry and Julie Aranow with Penny Morris-Smith, then Lee Thomas with Brianna Martinez in front of him, then Claire Ryan, then the dual camera, then Tom Cave in the background, then Jeff Pohlman between his rigs, then Sharon and Byron Braswell, then Leslie Strike and Terry Eggleston.
The question then became, what would the eclipse look like? To get an idea we used the Predictive Science Inc. graphic and then used Jeff Pohlman’s corona image as a comparison.
The official predicted appearance of the corona from Predictive Science Inc.
The actual corona from Jeff Pohlman’s photos.
Totality from Collowara. Pat Reiff photo.
Totality was amazingly brief (1 min 20 seconds) but the view from the southern side of the centerline made the “diamond ring” just the first (or last) of the Baily’s beads, which seemed to go on forever. The blood-red chromosphere was visible thoughout totality.
A collage of totality. Byron Braswell images.
Jeff Pohlman had a full weather station measuring temperatures and wind speeds but it failed before totality. Most of the group stayed on the mountain for the next hour until 4th contact and sunset.
Sunset at Collowara was about 15 minutes after fourth contact because of the distant horizon. Note the colors of the “real” sunset compared to the “eclipse sunset” in the eclipse photo. Pat Reiff photo.
After sunset, the group trekked down the mountain, got a drink and a bite with the other happy visitors, and took the bus back down to La Serena, where they met up with some of the La Serena group at the beach restaurant and swapped tales. Because the Collowara team stayed for sunset and the drink, and because they didn’t take the Vicuña road, they had virtually no traffic coming back to town whereas it was reported that there were 5+ hour traffic jams coming back from Mamallucca Observatory where the group was originally scheduled to go.
Totality at Collowara Observatory Note the shadow cone on the horizon. Don Gardner photo.
La Serena harbor. Jeff Pohlman photo.
Many of the images presented are absolutely stunning in full resolution. Unfortunately due to space we have to compress the photos to the level shown here.
A. Jeff Pohlman (located at Collowara Observatory, Chile)
Baily’s Beads at 2nd contact
Diamond Ring at 2nd contact and Moon’s shadow cone
Diamond Ring at 2nd contact
Prominences on left side of Sun
The entire eclipse sequence from Collowara Observatory
Corona at its best
The flash spectrum
B. Leroy Maxfield (located in La Serena, Chile on the beach)
Inner Corona and prominences
C. Eliot Herman (located in La Serena, Chile on the beach)
DIAMOND RING AT C2
DIAMOND RING AT C3
D. DON GARDNER IMAGES (located at Collowara Observatory)
BEGINNING OF DIAMOND RING/INNER CORONA
E. BYRON BRASWELL IMAGES (Located at Collowara Observatory)
WAITING FOR THE NEXT ECLIPSE
After such a spectacle, this dog is ready for the next eclipse. Eliot Herman photo.
La Serena beach panorama. Eliot Herman
Left to right: Maggie Jorgensen, Gill Beddows, Nancy Braithwaite. Juliette Sterkens photo.
Left to right: Dee Holisky (sitting), Bob Hammarberg (lying), Eliot Herman (back to camera), Monica Schmidt (standing by camera on tripod in front), Joe Malnar (standing by camera on tripod in back). Juliette Sterkens photo.
Eclipse glasses arrangement for sale. Dee Holisky photo.
Milky Way 2. Byron Braswell photo.
Milky Way 2. Byron Braswell photo.
Milky Way 3. Byron Braswell photo.
Beach crowd for the eclipse in La Serena. Eliot Herman photo.
Santiago airport. Juliette Sterkens photo.
Vicuna eclipse banner. Sheila Stephenson photo.
Eclipse t-shirt. Eliot Herman photo.