Total Eclipse August 10, 2007Posted by Weird Science Writer in Easy As Pie, Eclipses, Space Exploration.
If you want to see next year’s eclipse, it’s going to require a lot more travel than you might expect! Lauren Tunnell reports on the newest tourist attraction.
Credit: All pictures kindly provided by Luc Viatour. These pictures were taken during the highly publicized eclipse in 1999. Wow!
Are you taking a vacation next summer? Where would you like to visit? Paris? Disneyworld? Would you like to visit someplace sunny? Scenic? Cosmopolitan? Or do you want to visit Siberia?
A Surprising Vacation
Yes, that’s right, Siberia – the frigid arctic land in eastern Russia. The Russian government used to send convicted criminals to Siberia as punishment, and yet in August of 2008 Siberia will become one of the hottest tourist sites on the planet.
Get Ready For The Eclipse
Why is everybody heading to Siberia? On August 1st, 2008, a total eclipse of the sun will be visible from Siberia. A total eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun and completely obscures it. Total solar eclipses are very rare! They happen only once approximately every eighteen months, and are only visible from a small area of the planet. Total eclipses that are visible in any one particular spot on Earth are centuries apart. Most people go through their lives without ever witnessing one. That, however, is changing as interest in eclipses continues to grow.
In our modern world of reliable, affordable global travel, more and more people are going to the eclipse rather than waiting for the eclipse to travel to them. It may be three hundred years before a total eclipse of the sun comes to your hometown, but in the meantime you can travel to an ideal spot to witness this natural phenomenon.
Eclipse Of 1999
An eclipse on August 11th, 1999, is generally believed to be the most viewed eclipse in history. Hoards of people traveled to Europe to witness the natural marvel. The extraordinary number of tourists who were drawn to this event sparked public awareness of the potential eclipse tourism market.
August 1st, 2008
The 2008 eclipse probably won’t top the one in 1999 as the most viewed in history. The 1999 eclipse had the advantage of appearing in France, Great Britain and other areas of the world that are already major tourist draws (even without eclipses!). Still, Siberia isn’t doing too badly as hotel rooms along the path of the eclipse are already starting to fill up. Also, the eclipse will be visible in some of the most populated areas of Siberia, including the largest city, Novosibirsk, which is the third largest city in all of Russia! Travel to the area should be far more convenient and comfortable than one would expect from the traditional images shown of Siberia. The eclipse will also be visible in parts of Canada and China, but in very isolated areas of these countries.
If You Can’t Make It
If you won’t be able to make the trip to Russia next year, there will be other opportunities for you to see an eclipse. A total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 will be visible in much of the United States. Still, that’s a long way off so if you can manage to start planning now, a trip to see the eclipse in Siberia next summer might just be an exciting reality!
Lauren Tunnell is an educator and freelance writer living in Houston, Texas.