It only happens once every 360 years in a certain place on earth.
On this Tuesday evening it was the turn of a narrow strip of Argentina and Chile, where the inhabitants could enjoy the dance of the celestial bodies when the moon slid in front of the sun and completely blocked the sunlight.
Enjoy the total solar eclipse
The European Southern Observatory (SEO), which manages La Silla, had invited an exclusive group of people to observe the 50-year anniversary of the observatory for the solar eclipse of their life in the desert, which is sufficient with telescopes.
The telescopes at La Silla contributed among other things to the first photo of a black hole and the discovery of the earthy exoplanet Proxima b.
Watch how the sun and moon meet at the sky.
Beautiful view from observatory
The view from the mountain where the telescope domes of La Silla are, is phenomenal. La Silla is located in the driest desert in the world, Atacama, where it is usually barely cloudy. The desert can boast 300 cloudless nights per year.Sebastian Relster / Ebbe Rasch
Cameras were brought into position
There was not much time. The lenses waited for the completely predictable and yet incomprehensible spectacle to unfold. Two and a half hours, that would take the moon to pass in front of the sun. However, the total solar eclipse would be over in two minutes. And then it was time. 3, 2, 1 ...ESO
Maan made his way
The moon crawled across the sky. Slowly but certainly. And he tried to steal the show from the sun.ESO
For a moment the moon succeeded in this and turned around day and night. The spectators saw a glowing, black sun when the moment of total solar eclipse was there.
No solar eclipse is the same. On this photo you can see the 'diamond ring'. The glowing pearl at the bottom is the diamond, the rest forms the ring.ESO
Everything comes to an end
But after a few seconds the sun took over again. And the visitors to the La Silla observatory were fortunate, knowing that there would be a similar solar eclipse in this place in 360 years.ESO
Total solar eclipse is cosmic happiness
It is a cosmic happiness that the enthusiastic solar eclipse hunters in the Atacama desert could enjoy this spectacle.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon slides between the earth and the sun and completely covers the sun.
The fact that the moon can block the sun is because the sun is about 400 times as big as the moon, but it is also about 400 times farther from the earth.
That means that the sun and the moon look the same from the earth - allowing the moon to completely cover the sun.© Claus Lunau