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Three Suns, One Year

Observing a Sun eclipse is quite a task, as it depends on a series of circumstances that one can´t hardly control... We the staff of Observatorio del Pangue, have been granted with the rare opportunity of watching three eclipses in less than a full year, actually of all the distinct existing types : annular, total and partial.

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Tha partial eclipse (pictured above) was quite "extreme", with only 3% of the Sun disk covered, but it helped to complete the series... Can you spot the tiny black border of the Moon at the upper left of the solar limb?

Now we just got to watch the next one, a Total Eclipse of the Sun, that will happen again right here at the observatory, on next July 2nd, 2019...

Top view:
Annular eclipse, observed from Coyhaique, chilean Patagonia, on February 26th, 2017
Middle view:
Total eclipse, observed from Boise, Idaho (USA), on August 21st, 2017
Bottom view:
Partial eclipse, observed from Observatorio del Pangue, Chile, on February 15th, 2018

February the 7th, once again...

It's a well established tradition by now, every year on that same day we take pictures of the Sunset happening right behind the main dome of the Cerro Tololo International Observatory (CTIO), as watched from our own observing room. That's just to check if there are some anomalies in the orbit of Earth.
And definitely, there is none...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue - February, 7th, 2018
Camera: Canon EOS 60D, individual exposures: 10 seconds

Unidentifyed Flying Object in our sky ?...

On the evening of February 6th, a round-shaped, fast evolving cloud, suddenly appeared in the Eastern sky, and it lasted for almost 20 minutes before vanishing. Fair enough, we had witnessed many of those before: they happen to be launches of space rockets that loose part of their fuel, a unconvenient circumstance that can lead to the failure of the entire mission... This particular rocket was not registered in the public files, that make us suspect it was launched for some military purpose!...

The overexposed close view below clearly shows the trace of the object itself, right in the centre of the cloud: it appears as a short, elongated trail, since the path of the rocket was not parallel to the Earth rotation (click on it to enlarge)

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue - February, 6th, 2018
Camera: Canon EOS 60D