How to watch 2020’s only total solar eclipse darken the skies Monday


The European Space Agency shared this multiexposure view of a 2019 solar eclipse totality as seen by its CESAR team at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.


The only total solar eclipse of 2020 is coming up in a couple of days. The remarkable celestial event on Monday, Dec. 14 will occur when the moon steps in front of the sun, blocking out the fiery disk and creating temporary darkness along its path of totality. 

The eclipse will track across the southern end of South America, with people in certain regions of Chile and Argentina able to witness the full eclipse in person if the weather’s clear. Well-placed boats or ships in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans may also have a shot at seeing the total eclipse.

People within a band outside the narrow path of totality should be able to catch a partial eclipse, which looks like a bite out of the sun. Check out NASA’s map to see the limits of the viewing zone. 

The coronavirus pandemic was threatening to put a damper on eclipse livestreams, but NASA will offer a Spanish-language program on NASA TV. The views will come from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile via telescopes at the Observatorio Docente. The hour-long Spanish show starts at 7:30 a.m. PT with the total eclipse set for 8:02 a.m.

Time and Date will also provide a livestream, from the Villarrica volcano in Chile starting at 6:30 a.m. PT. 

If you’re one of the lucky few who get to see the eclipse on the ground, then be sure to observe the usual cautions. Never look directly at the sun. Use proper solar eclipse glasses, or make a pinhole projector.  

To get yourself pumped for this event, be sure to look back at 2020’s rare “ring of fire” eclipse from June.

Learn more about viewing safety, dive into how eclipses work and brush up on your vocabulary in our guide to watching solar and lunar eclipses.

This article is updated as streams become available.