Monday, October 03, 2005

Libya Solar eclipse October 2005 and March 2006

I wanted to mention this event but was waiting for the date to be near to talk about it. However, blogger Khadijateri broached the subject earlier last month and since I won't be in Libya for the event. I would like to ask her and the other bloggers and readers in Libya to check it out on my behalf and tell me how it went, any photos would be welcome of course.

In the meantime I'll leave you with the following

courtesy of I just copy pasted the article below

Libya will become a tourist destination and a perfect place for sky gazers as it will witness two solar eclipses in October 2005 and March 2006.

Researchers and astronomers, and even sky watchers will flock to Libya (I hope) to enjoy a spectacular view of the two eclipses, as Libya is in prime position for the solar eclipses.

The first eclipse is a partial one and will take place on October 3rd 2005. It is confined to the Eastern Hemisphere. The track of the annular eclipse crosses the Iberian Peninsula and stretches across the African continent. Europe, Western Asia, the Middle East, India and most of Africa will fall within the Moon's penumbral shadow.

Six months later Libya will cast into darkness as a total eclipse will be visible in the skies. On 29 March 2006, a total eclipse will be visible from north and central Africa, Turkey and southern Russia, ending at sunset in western Mongolia. A partial eclipse will be seen across the northern two-thirds of Africa, central Asia and Europe.

The Libyan Center for Space Sciences and Remote Sensing said it has received many applications from world researches who wish to visit Libya and study this phenomenon.

“ Libya’s total eclipse will last longer than other countries because of the fine weather and clear skies here, in addition to the location of monitoring center, which will be stationed in the desert.” The Center said in a statement.

Heading for Libya

Tourists and sky gazers will rush to the country to caught glimpses of this spectacular phenomenon which is expected to propel Libya to the top of the heap.
( I'm not there yet so I would not know )

Holiday company "Explorers" is offering tours to Libya to enable curious eclipse-hunters enjoy a better view of the solar eclipse.

“Already 90 per cent of the places have been sold and we are now searching for a second vessel to cope with the influx of travelers.” The company said.

"It is a very, very beautiful event and I defy anybody not to be moved by it," says Brian McGee, of the holiday company Explorers.

The programme went on sale with prices ranging from £1,000 to £2,000. All the cheaper cabins sold out quickly. At close of business only 10 per cent of the original 600-plus places remained. Mr. McGee, who has been organizing eclipse expeditions since the Kazakhstan event in 1981, said: "I've never known an eclipse exhibition to sell so fast".

On the day of the eclipse, passengers will make a 4am start by bus to the viewing site deep in the Sahara; after the event, they will be taken back to the ship and set sail.

Libya is already preparing to cope with the expected influx of tourists. The Secretary of Tourism has held meetings with some specialists and experts from the Secretariat of the General People’s Committee for Tourism and the Libyan Center for Space Sciences and Remote Sensing.

The meetings focused on the preparations to receive thousands of tourists and researches, and offer all facilities to them.

“ This phenomenon is a good opportunity to build-up tourism in Libya, and a lot of tourists will arrive here to enjoy the solar eclipse and visit the country’s archeological site, so we should prepare our selves to accommodate the huge numbers of tourists.” The Secretary said.

Specialized Committees have been set up to arrange and plan the reception of tourists, and build desert camps to them where they can catch a better view of the solar eclipse. The propgramme includes visiting some of the ancient sites.

Solar eclipses

An eclipse of the Sun (or solar eclipse) can only occur at New Moon when the Moon passes between Earth and Sun. If the Moon's shadow happens to fall upon Earth's surface at that time, we see some portion of the Sun's disk covered or 'eclipsed' by the Moon.

Since New Moon occurs every 29 1/2 days, you might think that we should have a solar eclipse about once a month. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen because the Moon's orbit around Earth is tilted 5 degrees to Earth's orbit around the Sun.

As a result, the Moon's shadow usually misses Earth as it passes above or below our planet at New Moon. At least twice a year, the geometry lines up just right so that some part of the Moon's shadow falls on Earth's surface and an eclipse of the Sun is seen from that region.

The Moon's shadow actually has two parts:
Penumbra - Faint outer shadow; partial eclipses are seen from within this shadow.

Umbra- Dark inner shadow; total eclipses are seen from within this shadow.

When only the Moon's penumbral shadow strikes Earth, we see a partial eclipse of the Sun from that region.

Partial eclipses are dangerous to look at because the un-eclipsed part of the Sun is still very bright. You must use special filters or a home-made pinhole projector to safely watch a partial eclipse of the Sun.

However, if the Moon's dark umbral shadow sweeps across Earth's surface, then a total eclipse of the Sun is seen. The track of the Moon's shadow across Earth's surface is called the Path of Totality. It is typically 10,000 miles long but only 100 miles or so wide. In order to see the Sun totally eclipsed by the Moon, you must be in the path of totality.

The total phase of a solar eclipse is very brief. It rarely lasts more than several minutes. Nevertheless, it is considered to be one of the most awe inspiring spectacles in all of nature. The sky takes on an eerie twilight as the Sun's bright face is replaced by the black disk of the Moon. Surrounding the Moon is a beautiful gossamer halo.

Libya's last total solar eclipse took place in August 30th 1905. The Western North part of the country fell in darkness for 3 minutes and 46 seconds.

These people are providing tours to Libya for the eclipse and the Explore company as well.

The Beebs says 'it should be quite a show' check their article here ...oh why am I away when there is fun ?

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