2021 Solar eclipse from Union Glacier, Antarctica (Dec. 4, 2021)
In Antarctica, a solar eclipse with almost two minutes of totality took place on Dec 4th, 2021. NASA broadcasted the event from Antarctica. Thus, the best views were from there. However, some eclipse was partially viewable from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, and a few other select locations.
The next total solar eclipse is not due for another 18 months following this one. It is expected on April 20th, 2023, occurring mostly over Asia.
Solar Eclipse 2021 – Antarctica (Via NASA – http://nasa.gov)
Credit: Theo Boris / Christian Lockwood of the JM Pasachoff Antarctic Expedition.
This total solar eclipse of 2021 took place under extraordinary isolated circumstances. Thus, visibility over the scarcely populated continent of Antarctica and surrounding areas were treated to an amazing sight visible to only a few highly dedicated eclipse enthusiasts in its path.
This eclipse was unusual. For instance, the path of this total eclipse moved from east to west across West Antarctica, while most eclipse paths move from west to east. This reversal is only possible in polar regions. Its path across Antarctica crossed near Berkner Island, traversed an arc over the continent and passed over Shepard Island.
A total Solar Eclipse is when the moon blocks the sun entirely for several minutes. As a result, the sky becomes as dark as night and the temperature drops noticeably.
This eclipse is a member of a semester series. An eclipse in a semester series of solar eclipses repeats approximately every 177 days and 4 hours (a semester) at alternating nodes of the Moon’s orbit.
Total Solar Eclipses are rare in Antarctica, and 16 years ago, a group of Quark Expeditions passengers became the first humans ever to witness a Total Solar Eclipse on the 7th Continent.
Viewers within the much broader path of the moon’s penumbral shadow, which included the Southern Ocean, southern Africa and the southeastern corner of Australia and Tasmania, were able to see a partial eclipse.