Solar Eclipse in Tahiti, French Polynesia, July 11, 2010

Countdown to Eclipse



An exceptional and magnificent event

A total solar eclipse is such an unusual phenomenon that some may travel thousands of miles to attend it. They can be Scientists or just astronomic amateurs flying from a continent to another. They are sometimes called eclipse’s chasers and tell us what encourages them to make such trips.

According to Philippe from the Astronomical Society of Tahiti (SAT), it is primarily the uniqueness of a total Solar eclipse that arouses such passion. In the region of Tahiti and her islands the next partial solar eclipse is scheduled for the year 2146 (see the ephemeris of the Observatory of Paris) when the next total Solar eclipse, it will only take place in about 4 centuries!

Explore remote areas…

“Majestic, magnificent, touching!” says Patrick from the association’s Adagio, “it is also a good opportunity to explore remote regions.”

Fabien has often escorted animated stays on the theme of the “Total Solar Eclipse” in Chile, Ecuador and Turkey. For him, “travellers who participate in such events seek the show during the eclipse with a complete stay and a guide with a top level”.
“We had an expert on astronomy for each group, he says, customers were passionates or had relationship with groups of amateur astronomers and some educated travellers.”

… and share wonderful emotions

Nadine is one of those passionate. She retains unforgettable memories of her first meeting with a total eclipse of the sun. “Tears streamed down my cheeks. The purple shadow had covered the lake and the mountains, the silence was total, like tangible, the atmosphere was poignant.”

She adds as well: “I have seen many eclipses since then, and the incredible perceptions I felt at these times have never been altered. That is why pictures, testimonials do not matter; each one must live these moments with its own soul and eyes.” (Read full text)
Here’s what Madeleine has reported from her stay in Benares, India, this famous July 22, 2009:
«Alongside the terrace are Indian photographers claiming with excitement: six minutes left… two minutes… and then there it is! Everything is plunged into dark, the moon completely covers the sun, and it’s fantastic! Everyone has goose-flesh… I take full advantage of this miracle of nature and it is really exciting! We are now waiting for the diamond effect: when the moon begins its descent, a flash of extraordinary light escapes, big like a diamond. This year it is particularly sparkling! We made it!” (Read full text)