The Sun being 400 times bigger than the Moon that is 400 times closer than Earth results in this incredible coincidence, causing total solar eclipses from time to time.
As far as I am concerned, I remember very well the eclipse that occurred on August 21st, 2017. Although I could only observe it partially from eastern Canada, the show was grandiose. The people who had the chance to see it in its totality have described it as one of the most exceptional sights they have ever had the chance to see. Therefore, when I learned that the next total eclipse would happen July 2nd of 2019 in the Atacama Desert in Chile, a region that I endearingly cherish and know very well, I immediately knew I had to plan a trip in advance if I wanted to be present.
The Atacama Desert is situated in Northern Chile and even though the area is relatively accessible, the airports are small, flights are limited and hotels are insufficient to accommodate the crowds that such an event can attract. This arid desert, renowned for its starry skies, is the world epicenter for astronomical observation; about 45% of all observations take place there. The fact that a total solar eclipse happens there makes the phenomenon even more special to me. It is then in August of 2018 that I started booking my flights and hotels to have the conviction I would be able to go to this remote place.
Fast forward to June 30th, 2019, I joined a group of photographer in Santiago. From there, we flew to Copiapo, a small mining town we chose to establish as our base. We were pleasantly surprised arriving there for, despite the austral winter, the temperature was quite warm with the Sun was shining. We decided it is a perfect opportunity to test our equipment, solar filters and others, in order to leave nothing to luck on the D-Day of the eclipse, July 2nd. The night before, while we were gathered on the rooftop of the hotel around a glass of Pisco Sour, the famous Chilean cocktail, we were blessed with a breathtaking sunset, as if we needed more to add to our already palpable excitement!