US-It’s the turn of South America to enjoy the spectacle of a total solar eclipse.

Skywatchers in parts of Chile and Argentina will see the Moon pass directly in front of the Sun, blocking out the light for just a few minutes.

It will be late in the day, however, and anyone lucky enough to be in the “path of totality” will be looking at the event close to the horizon.

As always, people are urged to take great care during an eclipse. Gazing into the Sun can damage the eyes.

Proper protection is needed, such as the use of approved solar glasses.

The Moon’s great shadow, or umbra, first touches the ocean surface east of New Zealand.

Ships and planes will be heading out from French Polynesia to witness it.

The first - and only - piece of land in the Pacific to lie in the path of totality is tiny Oeno Island - part of the Pitcairns British Overseas Territory.

This uninhabited atoll will be plunged into darkness for nearly three minutes, starting at 10:24 local time.

A total solar eclipse allows astronomers to view the Sun’s diffuse outer atmosphere, or corona

The umbra then reaches across to the coast of Chile, near La Serena, arriving at 16:38 local time.

Passage over the Andes Mountains and through the South American continent is swift. Among those last to experience totality will be the inhabitants of Chascomús in the district of Buenos Aires at 17:44 local time (20:44 GMT), not long before sunset.