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Daily Archives: 20. March 2015 − News & Stories


Solar eclip­se in Spits­ber­gen: total darkness – total suc­cess

The wea­ther Gods were on our side today here in Spits­ber­gen during the solar eclip­se: some thin clouds clea­red up during the morning to give an undis­tur­bed view of a bril­li­ant­ly clear sky. Thousands of visi­tors and locals went to Advent­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en to obser­ve the specta­cle, and the ten­si­on was rising when the tota­li­ty approa­ched at 11.12 a.m. local time.

Solar eclip­ses have been descri­bed many times and are, at the same time, inde­scri­bable, so I won’t try. I thought that tho­se who said a total solar eclip­se was still some­thing com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent than a par­ti­al one were exa­g­ge­ra­ting, but it is com­ple­te­ly true, and we are very glad to have seen it. Total darkness and total cold in the fin­ger­tips, but it was abso­lute­ly worth it. The moment the coro­na was blosso­m­ing … but I didn’t want to descri­be it. So: pho­tos! Of cour­se I took some pho­tos, some­thing that wasn’t that easy … can we plea­se do it again? 😉

Visi­tors get­ting rea­dy for the solar eclip­se in Spits­ber­gen.

Solar eclipse in Spitsbergen, 20th March 2015: visitors

The solar eclip­se in Advent­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, 20th March 2015: par­ti­al pha­se.

solar eclipse in Spitsbergen, 20th March 2015: partial phase

The solar eclip­se in Advent­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, 20th March 2015: tota­li­ty.

solar eclipse in Spitsbergen, 20th March 2015: totality

The solar eclip­se in Advent­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, 20th March 2015: the end of the tota­li­ty.

solar eclipse in Spitsbergen, 20th March 2015: end of totality

The solar eclip­se

The solar eclip­se, schdu­led by astro­no­my some thousand years ago, if not more, for the late morning of today, Fri­day 20th of March, 2015, beca­me a huge event for the inte­res­ted public years ago alrea­dy. Thousands of eclip­se pil­grims from all over the world had brought the litt­le air­port near Lon­gye­ar­by­en to the limits of its capa­ci­ties with nume­rous sche­du­led and char­te­red flights, and the situa­tions in the local hotels was qui­te simi­lar. The all-important ques­ti­on was obvous­ly the wea­ther. As soon as the first long-term fore­casts had emer­ged from the crys­tal balls 10 days befo­re, they were care­ful­ly scru­ti­ni­zed, and thousands of thumbs were surely kept well cros­sed over the glo­be.

As it tur­ned out, the wea­ther Gods were on our side: some thin clouds clea­red up during the morning to give way to an undis­tur­bed view of a bril­li­ant­ly clear sky. Thousands of visi­tors and locals went to Advent­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en to obser­ve the specta­cle, and the ten­si­on was rising when the tota­li­ty approa­ched at 11.12 a.m. local time. We went a bit fur­ther into Advent­da­len, to enjoy the event in silence.

Solar eclip­ses have been descri­bed many times but remain, howe­ver, inde­scri­bable, so I won’t try. I thought that tho­se who said a total solar eclip­se was still some­thing com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent than a par­ti­al one were exa­g­ge­ra­ting, but it is com­ple­te­ly true, and we are very glad to have seen it. Total darkness and total cold in the fin­ger­tips, but it was abso­lute­ly worth it. The moment the coro­na was blosso­m­ing … but I didn’t want to descri­be it. So: pho­tos! Of cour­se I took some pho­tos, some­thing that wasn’t that easy … can we plea­se do it again?

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

It could be felt all over Lon­gye­ar­by­en in the after­noon how the stress and ten­si­on of the last days gave way to joy and relie­ve.

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