Visitors book hotels months and years ahead in Faeroe Islands to watch the solar eclipseDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Mar 20, 2015 08:05 IST
Over 11,000 tourists and astronomers and eclipse chasers, most of them clutching their cameras and telescopes and safety glasses invade the Faeroe Islands to catch a 3-minutes glimpse of a solar eclipse that is calculated to occur 7:41 am (local time) in the eastern central Atlantic, according to Britain s Nautical Almanac Office.
To this end, thousands of people had booked for hotel reservations months and even years ahead of the event to enable watch the astronomical event in the Faroe Islands, a Danish autonomous territory, and Norway's Arctic Svalbard archipelago. Over 8,000 visitors will be visiting the Faroes where it is expected that the eclipse will occur at 9:41 am (local time) and nearly 2,000 people are expected in Svalbard where the event should be visible by 11:11 am local time.
There are a lot of eclipse chasers from all over the place, Torstein Christiansen from the Faroese tourist office said. The majority are from Europe but there are also countries which are not usually on our list, like Australia, New Zealand, the (United) States, Africa.
A group of 50 Danes were also said to have paid for tickets aboard a Boeing 737 chartered by a science magazine to enable them watch the phenomenon from the skies above the Faroe Islands.
While it might slightly be visible in other places, London and Paris might not notice much of a difference when the eclipse occurs.
It won't get very dark because even at 20 percent, the sun still brightens up (the sky) a lot, Patrick Rocher of the IMCCE astronomy institute in France said. What will be different is that the light will come from a crescent-shaped sun.
This eclipse is expected to have some gravitational effects on seas and oceans as a result of the alignment of the moon to the sun inbetween the earth.
The eclipse and the tide are linked, said Kevin Horsburgh, head of the Marine Physics and Ocean Climate research group at Britain's National Oceanography Centre (NOC). For an eclipse to take place, the sun, the Earth and the moon need to be in a straight line, which is also an essential condition for high tides. And for particularly big tides, the moon needs to be directly overhead at the equator at the time.
The next total solar eclipse visible from Europe is not due until August 12, 2026.
Visitors book hotels months and years ahead in Faeroe Islands to watch the solar eclipse