A girl tests special binoculars to view tomorrow's total solar eclipse near Central Park in La Higuera, Chile, Monday, July 1, 2019. Tourists and scientists will gather in northern Chile, one of the best places in the world to watch the next the eclipse that will plunge parts of South America into darkness. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Chileans and Argentines ready to gaze at total solar eclipse

July 01, 2019 - 11:00 pm

LA SERENA, Chile (AP) — Tens of thousands of tourists flocked to cities and towns across northern Chile to stake out spots in one of the world's best locations to witness Tuesday's total solar eclipse.

Millions are expected to gaze at the cosmic spectacle that will begin in the South Pacific and sweep along a path 6,800 miles (11,000 kilometers) across open waters to Chile and Argentina. Those are the only places the total eclipse will be seen aside from an uninhabited island.

The eclipse is expected to make its first landfall in Chile at La Serena, a city of some 200,000 people where the arrival of more than 300,000 visitors forced the local water company to increase output and service gas stations to store extra fuel. Police and health services were also reinforced.

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