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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → The solar eclip­se

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