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Photo: NASA TV

Crowds gathered across parts of Chile and Argentina to see a rare total solar eclipse on Tuesday.

Details: While most of the continent will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, only a relatively small swath of South America will be able to observe totality — when the Moon fully blocks the light of the Sun, dimming daylight and bathing the planet in darkness.

  • Generally, total solar eclipses occur every 12–18 months, but any one location experiences totality on average every 360 years, per the European Southern Observatory.
  • The last total solar eclipse was in August 2017.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What's happening: AP reported early Tuesday that more than 300,000 tourists had collected in La Serena, Chile, to catch a glimpse of the eclipse — the first city in South America to experience totality, at 4:38pm ET.

  • The path of the eclipse will trace a 90-mile-wide stretch of land, from La Serena to Chascomús, Argentina, south of Buenos Aires.
  • Thereafter, the eclipse will move toward the Atlantic Ocean and come to a close as the sun sets at 4:50pm.

Outside the path of totality, many will be able to see a partial eclipse throughout the rest of Chile and Argentina, along with Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, and in other parts of South America.

Why it matters: According to NASA, "Studying the Sun during total solar eclipses helps scientists understand the source and behavior of solar radiation that drives space weather near Earth, which can affect the health of astronauts in space and the durability of materials used to build spacecraft."

Go deeper: The next solar eclipse

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Iraqis dressed in traditional outfits greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Erbil airport, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on March 7. Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting northern areas of Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.