Solar Eclipse EscapesPosted on: 24 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Make your way to 'The Path Of Totality' and experience the eclipse in all its magic.
On Friday, 1st August, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor, which crisscrosses half the Earth called “The Path Of Totality”.
The overwhelming spectacle of a total solar eclipse means different things to different people. Some want to perform scientific experiments, some want to capture its spectacular beauty on film and others simply want to witness at first-hand the sheer excitement and beauty of this most extraordinary piece of natural theatre.
It defies description and there’s so much more to the solar eclipse experience than just the moon passing in front of the sun as films and photographs can only hint at the reality of the vision.
For those who have experienced a total eclipse; the memory of your first minutes within the moon shadow will last a lifetime.
Be aware that the next total solar eclipses will occur in Northern America in 2017, in Europe – in 2026 and in Russia – in 2030, so don’t miss your present opportunity!
About Solar Eclipses
They only happen during a new moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from the Earth. Up to four solar eclipses occur each year, but total solar eclipses are extremely rare. WHY?
A total solar eclipse is a spectacular natural phenomenon and many people travel to the remotest of locations to observe one.
In ancient time, and in some cultures today, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes.
Total solar eclipses can be frightening for people who are unaware of their astronomical explanation, as the Sun seems to disappear in the middle of the day and the sky darkens in a matter of minutes.
Russia Or China?
“The Path Of Totality” will sweep across the Earth from remote Nunatak, across Greenland,Siberia, Mongolia, Canada and China.
It’s a 10,000 mile long path but only 100 miles wide whilst the event lasts for just over two minutes.
Travelling to this thin, remote area is a challenge, but not impossible.
The best places for viewing the total solar eclipse in 2008 are Novosibirsk in Siberia or Xi’an, Shaanxi Province in China.
As you know, flights and tours for such a fantastic experience become scarce as time gets closer to departure so we would suggest that early booking is a priority.
How To Get There?
The web is filling up with tour sites aimed at providing enthusiasts with the perfect experience before, during and after the eclipse.
If organised tours and travelling groups isn’t your thing, there are other options out there if you wish to choose your own travel and company.
In Novosibirsk, the eclipse will be two minutes and 20 seconds and the city’s easy to reach through its well-served airport – Tolmachevo (OVB).
The airport lies on the River Ob crossed by the Trans-Siberian Railway and the city itself is big with modern hotels, restaurants and nightlife.
Weather conditions in Siberia at this time of the year are also favourable for eclipse observation.
The eclipse path in Siberia passes big cities, while in China it goes through the difficult to access regions near the Gobi desert.
A little bit closer to home you could catch a cruise to the northern tip of the Norwegian coast.
However, be careful when selected your cruise as some small boats may struggle to get into the Line Of Totality with thickening ice.
There is also a small chance of cloud so don’t pin your hopes on a perfect viewing.
Looking at even a partial eclipse without a filter can cause blindness in a fraction of a second.
Never look into the sun without suitable eye protection. Special protective goggles are a must!
Want To Know More About The Eclipse?
Links & Travel Ideas
Russian Sunchaser (£579)
A short and sweet Eclipse package (four days). Experience a Total Solar Eclipse near Novosibirsk, right in the middle of Russia.
Lake Baikal Bolt-on (£679)
Add to your eclipse adventure and ride the famous trans-Siberian railway and visit nearby Lake Baikal – the deepest lake in the world. During summer, its crystal blue water are transparent to a depth of 40 metres and its shores are ringed with the brilliant colours of seasonal wildflowers.
Russian Eclipse (£1,179)
Combining St Petersburg, the city of tsars, exploring more prime cuts of pukka Russi, cutting-edge Moscow – home of the legendary Red Square and the amazing Total Solar Eclipse near Novosibirsk. The ultimate eclipse tour that lasts for 11 days.
North Cape, Arctic Circle & Eclipse Cruise (£1,600)
Discover Norway’s islands and inlets, coves and giant fjords in this 14 day escape. Enter the Arctic Circle calling on the island of Tromso with its Polar Museum, take in spectacular views and lunar landscapes and visit Alta, known as the Town of the Northern Lights whilst also enjoying the total eclipse.
China Highlights & Eclipse with Explore (£2,696)
A chance to witness the eclipse and see some of the major highlights of the Chinese capital Beijing, as well as an insight into the Silk Road and Xian’s famous Terracotta Army. The trip is accompanied by expert Professor Paul Murdin and is for 11 nights.
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