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Eclipse Covers Pacific from Tahiti to Easter Island to Chile

July 12, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Easter IslandExciting story from the Telegraph today: A solar eclipse covered the Pacific Ocean from Tahiti to Chile, covering islands in darkness. In Tahiti, where the solar eclipse began, the effect was so stunning that crowds of football-mad Polynesians turned away from the World Cup final on their TVs to look to the skies instead.

Beginning at 6:15 p.m. GMT when the umbra or shadow fell about 440 miles southeast of Tonga, the eclipse moved in an easterly arc, cloaking Easter Island at 8:11 p.m. GMT and finishing with a pass across southern Chile and Argentina.

Easter Island authorities increased security, especially around key heritage sites, including the 3,000-year-old large stone statues, or moai, that put the far-flung ethnic Polynesian islanders on the world culture map.

The eclipse has brought a tourist boom to Easter Island and Tahiti, where American film director James Cameron was among the stargazers,  helping to bring $10.8 million tourism windfall to the archipelago.


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