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On Tuesday, July 2, a lot of ocean and a few tiny bits of land will lie under a moon-blackened sun. A total solar eclipse will take place that day ... the first total eclipse of the sun since the Great American Total Eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017.
On that day, the long, thin finger of the moon's dark umbral shadow will again draw its tip — averaging 95 miles (150 kilometers) in width — across Earth's surface. But unlike the total solar eclipse in 2017, which offered a multitude of possibilities for land-based viewing, the 6,800-mile (11,000-km) path of the 2019 eclipse will be confined almost exclusively to the South Pacific Ocean.
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As the moon blocks the sun during the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, the sun's wispy corona came into view.
The total eclipse track begins at local sunrise, 2,175 miles (4,000 kilometers) east-northeast of Wellington, New Zealand. The moon's dark shadow will make its very first landfall when it moves across Oeno Island, a remote coral atoll and part of the Pitcairn Islands. Oeno Island serves as a private holiday site for the few residents of Pitcairn Island, who travel there and stay for two weeks in January, during the Southern Hemisphere summer.
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The total area of Oeno Island measures only 120 acres. The island is known principally for its colony of Murphy's petrels; with about 12,500 pairs, the site is estimated to be the second largest colony of these birds in the world. The birds — and likely some hardy eclipse chasers — will experience 2 minutes and 53 seconds of total eclipse at 18:24 GMT.
The moment of greatest eclipse comes just 1 hour later, when the duration on the centerline of the eclipse path lasts the longest: 4 minutes and 32.8 seconds, at a...
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