Project Patagonia 2020 Total Solar Eclipse Observation Sites
We will have two observation sites for this eclipse, both in Argentina on an open plain on the Eastern slopes of the Andes. The locations has been chosen because of the very promising weather prospects and the spectacular scenery on the journey to the site. The Malleo site is a scenic location north of Junin de los Andes and the Fortin Nogueira site is a very barren desert location on the Pampas north of Piedra del Aguila.
As you can see from the cloud chart (below the site data), Fortin Nogueira has slightly more favourable weather prospects, although the difference is small and the eclipse duration from Fortin Nogueira is a little longer as the site is closer to the eclipse centre line.
Malleo, Junin de los Andes
39° 39' 32.00" S 71° 15' 26.86" W
Total Eclipse Duration 2m03.4s
(lunar limb corrected)
Altitude 738.1m (3078ft)
Start of partial eclipse 11:43:08.1
Start of total eclipse 13:05:11.1
End of total eclipse 13:07:14.0
End of partial eclipse 14:33:10.9
Fortin Nogueira, Piedra del Aguila
39° 57' 37.08" S 69° 59' 27.56" W
Total Eclipse Duration 2m05.2s
(lunar limb corrected)
Altitude 485.1m (1592ft)
Start of partial eclipse 11:45:33.5
Start of total eclipse 13:07:59.3
End of total eclipse 13:10:04.9
End of partial eclipse 14:35:51.6
The above very detailed analysis of prospective weather conditions for solar eclipses is published on http://eclipsophile.com/ by Jay Anderson. We acknowledge his invaluable contribution to successful eclipse observing over many years. Here is part of his article on the 2020 total eclipse.
"From Pucon, Highway 199 roams along the valley of the Rio Pucon, past small farms, lakes, and forested slopes. It’s a pleasant drive, all the way to the Argentine border, mostly on a narrow paved road with numerous small communities. The sun is high at mid-eclipse, 72 degrees above the horizon, and so there are no significant problems with the terrain. Highway 199 runs parallel to the eclipse central line until Curarrehue, and then turns southward and then eastward, across the lower slope of Volcan Lanin, to cross into Argentina at an elevation of about 1200 m.The vegetation along the highway reflects an increasingly drier climate, a testimonial to the gradual decrease in precipitation as the mountains behind block moisture from the Pacific.
Average December cloud cover increases as we move into the Andes cordillera according to the satellite observations in Figure 6’s graph, but it’s not a dramatic increase, remaining below 50%, and, in fact, declining slightly before reaching the border with Argentina.
In Argentina, the sunniest and driest regions lie up against the east side of the Andes, with the very best cloud prospects near the small community of Peidra del Aguila. According to the graph in Figure 7, cloudiness is highest along the Chilean border, where the peaks of the Andes often generate high-level cloud as the air is lifted to flow over the 4000-m peaks. Once away from the heights, east of Junin de los Andes, the mean cloud amount drops below 40 percent and remains there until the track reaches the Atlantic coast at San Antonio Oeste".