Tag: eclipse chaser

11 Jan 2015

Top 10 madness that is the new year

 

Eclipse chasing isn't just about the eclipse.  Mongolia 2008 © Kate Russo
Eclipse chasing isn’t just about the eclipse. Mongolia 2008 © Kate Russo

You cannot open a newspaper, read a magazine or go online lately without seeing a list of ‘top 10’ things to do or places to go this year.

What was especially noticeable this year was the presence of ‘seeing a total solar eclipse’ on most of these lists.   I can’t recall any other time when eclipse chasing appeared to be so high on the agenda. I suspect the main driver for this is the fact that in 2017 the path of totality makes its way across North America from west to east coast, and as a result public interest is at an all time high.

I absolutely agree that seeing a total solar eclipse is worthy of being on everyone’s aspiration list. The experience is other-worldly and beyond expectation. If you have not seen one, then you will not truly understand the buzz and experience until you are standing in the shadow of the Moon, mouth agog and the hair on the back of your neck standing up at sublime beauty of totality.   It is at this moment that you will ask yourself why you took so long to see one.

If seeing these ‘top 10’ lists have whetted your appetite for eclipse chasing, then you would have noticed that your 2015 options for land based eclipse viewing is limited – either the remote Faroe Islands, or rugged Svalbard. The eclipse in March is a little off-season for visiting both of these arctic locations. Despite this, many intrepid and die-hard chasers, and those seeking out-of-the-way adventures, have already planned their trips and soon will be packing their warm clothing. I’ve been banging on about the Faroe Islands now for two years!

But what if you feel the locations on offer are too challenging to get to, too expensive, or if you are not interested in cold weather viewing? Then you may like to know that 2016 might be a better year for you to have your eclipse experience. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, the path of totality for the total solar eclipse of March 2016 goes right across Indonesia. There are some fabulous travel opportunities with tours being arranged on land and sea. Whatever your preference – exotic, luxury, adventure, or completely off-the-beaten track, you will find interesting options. I will be heading to Sulawesi to see this (my 10th) total eclipse, and attending an Eclipse Festival where I will be able to do further research about the eclipse experience, while experiencing this amazingly diverse country.

Secondly, there is a second eclipse option – an annular solar eclipse takes place in September 2016. An annular eclipse is not as dramatic as a total eclipse (see my article here for the difference), but it is still an amazing sight to see the ‘ring of fire’ as the Moon almost covers the Sun. As in a total eclipse, you have to be within the path of annularity to see the ring of fire, which passes across central Africa, Madagascar and beyond. Top of the pick is Tanzania, where the eclipse coincides with the wildebeest migration, so it will be all about nature and wildlife.

So, if you have already ruled out an arctic total solar eclipse for this year, then make sure to explore options for chasing eclipses for 2016. But get in before those ‘top 10’ lists are published next year – I suspect if you wait for these lists to appear you may well miss the boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Jul 2012

Hot News!

The publication of my book Total Addiction:  Life of an Eclipse Chaser has been brought forward from September to the end of July.  The publishers and myself have been working behind the scenes in order to meet the earlier deadline.  It has only been in the past week that I have really started to let people know that the book is available to pre-order.  Since then, the book has become an Amazon bestseller – topping the Theoretical and Mathematical Astronomy Category, and at one point I was also second in the Hot New Releases in Astronomy.  I know it’s not a competition, but it was rather exciting to be up there above the likes of Prof Brian Cox, Sir Patrick Moore and Prof Stephen Hawking – if only for a week.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who is pre-ordering the book.  If you would like to pre-order through Amazon, please click on this link:  (again, apologies for the length – still can’t figure this hyperlinking out):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/364230480X/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=364230480X&linkCode=as2&tag=beiinthesha-21″>Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser</a><img src=

This is my first book sold on Amazon, so I never really took notice of what the ranking figures meant, and how they were calculated.  When the book is a bestseller, these rankings are updated hourly, which means I am constantly checking to see where the book is positioned.  It’s yet another one of the things I have learned during the process of publishing a book – it has been a fascinating journey.

 

21 May 2012

Live feeds and zzzzz

I stayed up last night watching the webcasts for the annular eclipse, which commenced at around 11.30pm local time in Belfast.  I was certainly not alone – I noted that many of the feeds had audiences of hundreds of thousands of people, all eagerly awaiting a glimpse of totality.  Those poor Panasonic guys up on top of Mt Fuji – I’m sure it was still an amazing experience, but it did look rather miserable.  It was great to see the eclipse from a variety of feeds.  I found myself flicking across different feeds, and I have to confess that I became so tired that I did not actually see any live feeds of the eclipse making landfall in the US..   Thanks again to all those involved in live feeds – it is much appreciated.   Even if I did fall asleep.