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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?

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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.

last modification: 2015-04-13 · copyright: Rolf Stange