The Chile Eclipses Thread

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dmwbmw2
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by dmwbmw2 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:58 am

Foggy and low cloud in Conce.......

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:38 am

it got a bit darker around here, but the clouds never opened up. Friend about 10 km away had a momentary break in the clouds and was able to see it.
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:32 pm

When we got to Coyhaique there were some kids' workshops and adult talks related to astronomy (for free) on the day before the event, and on the morning of the event they handed out eclipses glasses also for free. However, it was disorganized and queues forming randomly and no-one knew what was going on, and there wasn't enough for everyone, so was perhaps still good that I bought them in the shop in Santiago.

We were blessed with perfect weather in Coyhaique. Everyone anywhere in the city or near to it would have been able to see it, it was completely a clear sky we saw the whole thing. Very lucky.

It went colder for sure, and darker, but even with 99% of the sun covered, it only felt like late afternoon going towards dusk say like 1.5-2 hours before dark. You could still very easily see the mountains miles away and no chance of seeing any planets, stars, sun's corona. This kind of thing is only possible in a total eclipse not in an annular one.

My daughter and I were interviewed by CNN Chile. I don't know if they showed it though.

I did manage to get some photos by using a fairly regular camera with a good zoom, and taking the photo through the eclipse glasses, and it worked quite well, but it took a minute or two per photo to get both the alignment and a crisp image. Therefore, I only took photos of the partial eclipse phase, and not the short annular phase, where I preferred to just enjoy watching the one minute of annularity. I don't have time right now to post photos and the internet is slow, ask me on this thread next week if anyone wants to see it. Although there are very likely better photos online already.

Funny thing I spoke to a man after the eclipse and asked what he thought of it, he was just hanging around the crowds doing nothing whatsoever. He just said "I didn't see it. I was in my house."

Although lucky with the eclipse weather over the 2 weeks we spend down south we had a lot of rainy days. More rain than sun, even in summer. However, spectacular scenery - from Parque Pumalin down to Lago Los Torres (i.e. most of the route from Puerto Montt to Coyhaique except first and last parts) is a beautiful stretch of road - one of the most beautiful places I've been in the world. Perhaps only Bolivia, the western US, and New Zealand compare favourably of the places I've been. Everything from smoking volcanoes to glaciers, but mostly green and water. However, it's not very developed. When it rains, there are no indoor activities. And everything (food, accomodation, petrol) seems about 15% more expensive than most of the rest of Chile due to the isolation. For these reasons, I'd hesitate to actually heartily reccomend it, but worth considering if you like nature and scenery.

From the first few miles out of Puerto Montt, and thereafter except for the last few miles into Coyhaique, it's nice to drive without traffic. Sometimes you can drive along at a slow speed and it's 10 or 20 minutes before a car comes up behind you, and you can just pull over and let it go. No traffic like this anywhere in my country (England) or central Chile.

However, I'm not so sure about the cycling for those that do it, really slow going in the dirt. Hitch hiking also there were tonnes of people trying to do it at this time of year, and lots of competition, it looked slow going also. Some people just set off walking miles from anywhere. Neither looked like a lot of fun in day after day of rain.

Dirt roads are probably half of the time and less than half of the distance (very rough estimate) - this is for Puerto Montt to Coyhaique which is the northern half (or slightly above half) of the Carretera Austral. You can do 40km/h on the dirt, maybe 70 km/h on the paved, so maybe 50-60 overall average. That was in a 4WD, but being very slightly more cautious and slow than the average. It can be done in a regular car, and many people were doing just that. I'm not sure I would myself, unless it was a cheap old car without much value.

The owner of the hotel I'm staying in now in Coyhaique (something of an anti-communist so perhaps I should send here to All Chile lol) came down 50 years ago on a boat from Puerto Montt that took a week and has lived here ever since.

Admin, we didn't quite make it to Frutillar. We decided to go direct from Puerto Octay to Puerto Varas so we wouldn't overcomplicate things. I did pass through Frutillar actually, and it didn't look great, but I think that might have been only Frutillar Alto (rather than bajo).
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:38 pm

If you seen the beach, then you were in Frutillar bajo. No beach, your in Frutillar alto.

yea, alto is nothing special. I told the last mayor he needed to fix up frutillar alto, both for the people that live there and the tourist that see it first and keep going on. It is still better than 90% of the small towns in the south, but it is not any sort of tourist attraction. It is just the business district and lower end residential areas.

Honestly, this time of year, Frutillar bajo is so crowed I try to stay away from it too unless I have to go through it, and only at off-peak hours (when the tourist are not exiting for the day). A little too nice.

Everyone leaves next week, and we get our town back, with a few stray tourist wondering around, but not the traffic and crowds. I actually got caught in a traffic jam this year that took me 1.5 hours to get to my office. Somone had the bright idea to schedule a rodeo, the last day of music weeks, and several thousand people all leaving the beach at the same time. I was trying to get to a friends house to watch the super-bowl on the other side of frutillar bajo, like 3 miles.

I was a little surprised by how few tourist I seen in Puerto Varas this year. Busy, but nothing like normal, even in the off season.
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Spudzilla » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:24 pm

The weather cooperated in Aysen. Clear skies and full eclipse. Fresh homemade italian sausages on the pancho washed down with Carmen Gran Reserva. A truly great day in Patagonia! :D

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:24 pm

Someone has now gone and written an excellent (but long) guide to the weather prospects of the July 2019 eclipse here http://eclipsophile.com/total-solar-ecl ... ly-2-2019/ According to this guide, the chances of viewing the eclipse (i.e. no cloud cover) are about 50/50 on the cost in La Serena/Coquimbo, rising to about 60% if you head into the Valle Elqui. However since it is a low altitude (10-15 degrees above horizon in late afternoon) eclipse you would need to choose your viewing site very carefully. it would be a bit silly to try and watch it somewhere from where the side of the valley is blocking the sun. It's to the East, and I think the valley is quite open around Vicuna which is a good spot.

There's no advantage to be gained by going deeper into the Andes, however if you watch if on the Argentinian side just over the border and out of the mountains you can get the odds of seeing the sun up to 70% at the approrpiately named (for that day) Bella Vista. Of course, these odds will change with the weather forecasts a few days before, so it's good to be mobile on the day. Of course, it's winter, so going away from the coast will be cold. It may just make sense to plan to be in La Serena the night before the eclipse with a car. As the eclipse is late afternoon, there's plenty of time to move about in the morning in response to cloud patterns on the day.

There is also a 70% chance of seeing it from La Silla observatory, but that means going away from the centre of the eclipse track and reducing the totality from 2 and a half minutes to under 2.

http://eclipsophile.com/wp-content/uplo ... Graph1.jpg
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Britkid » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:30 pm

They also wrote an article for the December 2020 eclipse
http://eclipsophile.com/tse2020/
Here the odds of seeing it are about 50/50 and Pucon and Villarica are as good as anywhere for totality length and weather prospects.
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Re: The Chile Eclipses Thread

Post by Rhodolite » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:26 pm

You're really planning ahead!

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