On Feb. 15, the first partial solar eclipse of 2018 will occur in the skies above — and if you're in the right place to see it, aka within its path of partial totality, it's going to be a beautiful sight. According to NASA, the February 2018 partial solar eclipse first of three that are set to occur this year, with the next ones set to happen on Jul. 13 and Aug. 11. A solar eclipse can be a quick event, especially if it's a partial one, so figuring out how to make the sight last can make it even more special. So, it's worth asking: how can you see the Feb. 2018 partial solar eclipse?
To figure that out, we need to go back and look at how a solar eclipse happens in the first place. There are two types of solar eclipses that are visible from Earth: A total and a partial. Many Americans witnessed the former in August 2017 when a total solar eclipse happened to be visible midday across most of the country. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon goes directly between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun's rays of reaching Earth. During a total solar eclipse, the sky can actually get pretty dark during the day, whereas with a partial solar eclipse, it stays pretty bright.
Speaking of a partial solar eclipse: Occurring multiple times a year, a partial solar eclipse happens when the moon only — you guessed it — partially blocks the Earth's view of the sun. In 2018, we won't be experiencing any total solar eclipses; each solar eclipse in 2018 is going to be only partial.
How To View The Partial Solar Eclipse
If you're wondering where you can see the partial solar eclipse this February, well, you're gonna have to travel a bit south from the U.S. Well... a lot south. The best place to view the partial solar eclipse is in the beautiful — but quite icy — Antartica. On the night of Feb. 15, TimeandDate.com reports that the partial lunar eclipse will begin over Antartica at about 6:55 p.m. local time. The sun will be just over half covered by the moon, according to the site.
You don't have to go all the way to the South Pole to check out this eclipse, though. If you head slightly north of Antarctica to South America, the partial solar eclipse will still be visible, but to a degree — in other words, countries like Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay are going to have great seats for this sun show.
In Argentina, the amount that the eclipse will be visible is extremely varied due to the size of the country. For reference, though. in Buenos Aires, the partial solar eclipse will reach maximum coverage at 7:12 p.m. local time.
While this February partial solar eclipse is happening too soon to make travel plans, it may be worth looking into the location of the next ones so you can plan a little trip to see them — after all, each of the upcoming solar eclipses in 2018 won't be visible from the U.S. While July's eclipse will be mostly viewable over the ocean, August's eclipse will be visible in some great travel destinations: If you're thinking of going to Northern Europe or the northeastern region of Asia, try to coordinate your trip to occur around Aug. 11 to catch the partial solar eclipse.
This partial solar eclipse is just one of the many celestial events set to happen this year, which has already included a super moon, a blue moon, and a blood moon.