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Many international visitors visit Solar Eclipse next month in Chile



The world's last total solar eclipse occurred in August 2017. Millions of Americans stopped what they did to observe the eclipse that passed over parts of the entire United States.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and earth are perfectly aligned. The next total solar eclipse will take place on July 2.

However, the total eclipse can only be seen in a few places in the world. This year, the whole road will pass over areas in Chile and Argentina. The American space carrier NASA says the sun will be completely hidden by the moon for up to four minutes and 33 seconds during this eclipse.

The upcoming event has led people from all over the world to plan to travel to Chile's northern Coquimbo region where the total solar eclipse is expected to be visible . Local officials say they expect more than 400,000 visitors to come to the area.

  People see the solar eclipse on the lawn of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, USA on August 21<div class="e3lan e3lan-in-post1"><script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script>
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People see the solar eclipse on the lawn at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, USA, August 21, 2017. [19659007] A total solar eclipse is rare. The European South Observatory estimates that every specific site on earth is only seen once on average every three 360 ​​years. Visitors from all over the world are expected to flood Coquimbo in the coming weeks for a chance to witness this exceptional event.

The Coquimbo region sits on the Pacific coast at the foot of the Andes. Heavy demand means that many hotel rooms are full before the eclipse.

Flights to Coquimbo are offered by Chile LATAM Airlines as well as low cost airlines Sky and JETSMART. Travel companies reporting airline tickets sell very quickly.

A clock in the coastal town of La Serena shows a countdown to the big day. "People have gone crazy," one from the city told Reuters about all local excitement. "They want the day to come as soon as possible."

Chile is a popular place for astronomers to visit. The country has many large international research telescopes.

"It is a unique opportunity ," said Chilean astronomer Ivo Saviane to Reuters from La Silla Observatory, which he oversees. "For everyone, whether from Chile or abroad, it's exciting."

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera is one of 150 " VIP's " with tickets to watch the sunset at La Silla. Piñera has identified the eclipse as one of the most important events in Chile this year. The country will hold several major international conferences in 2019.

Luis Calderon is an engineer in La Serena. He told Reuters that he believes the cost and effort to visit Chile will be worth it. "You have to be here to see it, even if it's only a few minutes," he said.

I'm Bryan Lynn.

Bryan Lynn wrote this story to VOA Learning English, based on a report from Reuters and online sources. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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