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Daily Archives: 18. March 2015 − News & Stories


Solar eclip­se is com­ing clo­ser in Spits­ber­gen

The solar eclip­se that will cast darkness over nort­hern Euro­pe for some minu­tes on Fri­day is get­ting clo­ser and exci­te­ments are rising. Sin­ce the first fog­gy views of Fri­day the 20th emer­ged in the crys­tal balls of the the first bra­ve long term wea­ther fore­cas­ters, spe­cu­la­ti­on about the all-import­nat wea­ther is gro­wing and gro­wing. Con­clu­si­on: it may or may not work. And of cour­se the 20th of March is ana­ly­zed in hind­sight, put­ting sta­tis­tics covering more than 10 years tog­e­ther. Con­clu­si­on: it may or may not work.

Lon­gye­ar­by­en has pre­pa­red a lot: lec­tures exp­lai­ning the phe­no­me­non are sche­du­led to pre­pa­re the public for the astro­no­mic event, eclip­se eye pro­tec­tion is in stock, a brochu­re has been pro­du­ced, cul­tu­ral events orga­ni­zed to keep peop­le busy any­way and a T-Shirt with a prin­ted some­thing resem­bles a burnt fried egg and the words “Eclip­se Sval­bard 2015” is avail­ab­le in the shops. In Advent­da­len, a short walk from town, a camp is pre­pa­red in a loca­ti­on whe­re the sun will be abo­ve the moun­tains on Fri­day, so guests have a place to warm up a litt­le bit and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get some food.

From today (Wed­nes­day), Lon­gye­ar­by­en air­port will recei­ve char­ter and pri­va­te flights every day, brin­ging several thousand visi­tors here until Fri­day morning, so Lon­gye­ar­by­en will have its first real mass tou­rist event now, and very likely the last one for a long time (until it app­lies for the Olym­pic games or the foot­ball world cham­pions­hip, but that is cur­r­ent­ly not on the agen­da). All avail­ab­le hotels are said to have been ful­ly boo­ked sin­ce 2007, and many locals have ren­ted their flats out for pri­ces that cor­re­spond to the astro­no­mic natu­re of the event.

Now ever­y­bo­dy is curious about the wea­ther on Fri­day, clouds or clear ski­es, that will be the all-important fac­tor. Many are secret­ly hoping for a solar eclip­se with nort­hern lights, which is actual­ly pos­si­ble … and wha­te­ver hap­pens, the­re will be pho­tos of the event on this web­site.

Solar eclip­se with nort­hern lights. A fan­ta­sy of the aut­hor, made visi­ble with some com­pu­ter help.

solar eclipse Spitsbergen with northern light (computer drawing)

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