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Home* News and Stories → Solar eclipse is coming closer in Spitsbergen

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)

last modification: 2015-03-18 · copyright: Rolf Stange