solar eclipse
A partial solar eclipse is set to happen this Saturday. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

South Americans will witness the only total solar eclipse of the year while the rest of the world will have to watch online in what has been dubbed the "Great South American Eclipse."

The eclipse will take place on July 2 and will be a total solar eclipse that sees the moon completely block the sun for a short time. It is expected to begin around La Serena, Chile, and run all the way to Buenos Aires from 4:38 p.m. ET to 4:44 pm. ET.

NASA describes the event as a “celestial coincidence” due to the differences in size between the moon and sun.

Typically, the sun is around 400 times wider and nearly 400 times farther away than the moon to earth. But during a total solar eclipse, earth lines up with the moon and sun in just the right way for the moon to completely cover the sun and create an umbral shadow.

Outside of the core area, a large swath of South America will witness a partial eclipse that is expected to run from the Pacific Coast to northern and central regions of the continent. Some of the other countries predicted to witness it in some form include Brazil, Columbia, Bolivia, Paraguay and Ecuador.

While another total eclipse is expected to occur in South America in December 2020, plenty of people are taking the opportunity to witness the event that won’t occur in the region for another 375 years. Astronomer Glenn Schneider had charted a flight that will run the path of the eclipse when it happens.

A live feed will also be aired online from the European Southern Observatory.