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Home* News and Stories → Solar eclip­se in March attracts visi­tors to Spits­ber­gen

Solar eclip­se in March attracts visi­tors to Spits­ber­gen

Tho­se who stay in Spits­ber­gen on March 20th will have the rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy the event of a total solar eclip­se. At 10:11 a.m. and 51 seconds in the sky abo­ve Lon­gye­ar­by­en the moon starts to move in a posi­ti­on bet­ween sun and earth. Almost one hour later the sky will turn dark for 2 minu­tes and 27 seconds as the moon obscu­res the image of the sun com­ple­te­ly. All in all the event lasts a litt­le lon­ger than 2 hours. On March 20th the moon´s shadow will move over the North Atlan­tic in a cur­ve bet­ween Ice­land and Nor­way over the Faroe Islands to Spits­ber­gen and fur­ther towards the North Pole.

A total eclip­se of the sun is an extre­me­ly rare natu­ral phe­no­me­non. In 2008 it occur­red abo­ve the remo­te island of Kvi­tøya, north-east of Spits­ber­gen and the next one abo­ve Spits­ber­gen will be in 2061.

Mean­while Lon­gye­ar­by­en pre­pa­res for a par­ti­cu­lar­ly high num­ber of visi­tors, wis­hing to wit­ness the specta­cle in March. Spits­ber­gen Tra­vel, the big­gest hotel ope­ra­tor in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, did alrea­dy in 2006 make reser­va­tions for their who­le con­tin­gent of 528 beds with only a sin­gle tour ope­ra­tor. Altog­e­ther 820 beds at hotels and guest­houses are avail­ab­le. In addi­ti­on the­re are apart­ments and cabins which are ren­ted pri­va­te­ly – and then the­re will still be the cam­ping ground…

Due to the high demand the­re are by now pri­va­te apart­ments offe­red for extra­or­di­na­ry high pri­ces up to 100.000 kro­ner (ca. 11.560 Euro) for 5 days. Ano­t­her bot­t­len­eck is the num­ber of flights. On the days befo­re the solar eclip­se 6 addi­tio­nal flights to Lon­gye­ar­by­en were estab­lis­hed.

Solar eclip­se in Spitz­ber­gen in 2008.

Solar eclipse Spitsbergen

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2015-02-17 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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