Those of you who happen to be in Libya tomorrow will get the best view of a total solar eclipse that will make its way from Brazil all the way to Mongolia. Folks in Turkey and Central Asia should have a good view as well.
Dr Robert Massey, senior astronomer at the UK’s Royal Observatory Greenwich: “Solar eclipses are the ultimate astronomical show. It’s up there with the highest-rated television programme. If there is one thing you do to do with astronomy in your lifetime, go and see a solar eclipse. Day turns into night. Suddenly, in place of this brilliant Sun, you have something like a flower opening. You see the corona – the outer atmosphere of the Sun – radiating behind the dark silhouette of the Moon. It’s indescribable – utterly beautiful. I think it’s such a special event that you can’t help but be moved by it.”
The celestial event will be webcast on “Eclipse Cafe 2006” and more information about it is at this website although if you don’t read Japanese you’re pretty much out of luck although I believe the observatories participating are linked from the middle of the page.
Nigeria and other countries are attempting to quell possible rioting stemming from religious and superstitious interpretations of the eclipse. Libya has issued 7,000 visas to tourists wanting to view the event: “The largest team are Americans with 1,500 persons, the U.K. with 1,264, Germany with 537, and in addition we have visitors from Austria, Spain and Italy.” Private firms have set up massive desert camps with security and health facilities.
Astrologists note that eclipses are good times for making wishes, applying yourself to new commitments, and healing. The world could use a bit of that right now.