Sunday, 3 September 2017

Planning for the next one?

In case you had not noticed, the Great American Eclipse is over. At least this one is finished. It was a huge success for most eclipse chasers as the August sky cooperated over the majority of the USA continental landfall. Sky gazers saw super clear sky out in the west while those of us in the Midwest enjoyed hazy clear sky. Only a few areas were unlucky with the clouds. You can see the results at this web page where observers have indicated their results.

Corona of 2017 eclipse - Bill Kramer Canon SX60 handheld

More photographic results can be viewed at this 2017 eclipse gallery web page.

Even at maximum duration, this eclipse was kind of short. Under three minutes is never enough corona viewing time! And what a spectacular corona it was too.

So what about the next eclipse?


Upcoming eclipses include two that go across South America and one that will visit the continental USA. These eclipses are a bit longer in duration but come at times when the weather may not be as cooperative.

A really great web site full of travel ideas can be found at: http://whenisthenexteclipse.com

Are you making any plans to see one or more of these? I am. My wife and I will be on board a cruise ship in the South Pacific. We opted for that route after looking at the weather prospects. The eclipse of 2019 (there is no total solar eclipse in 2018) will cross the southern part of South America during the local winter season. The majority of the eclipse is over the waters of the Pacific Ocean thus a cruise ship or airplane represent the best ways to go. Unfortunately all of these options are quite expensive and this will limit the number of people who can see the eclipse.

The Next Great American Eclipse

If you cannot or do not want to travel the next total solar eclipse in the continental USA will be in 2024. This eclipse comes in April and the climate at that time of year for most of the track inside the USA is not all that great. The track does include part of Mexico as well as Texas and there are great options in those locations.

At least one does not have too long to wait. The last eclipse to hit the lower 48 of the USA was in 1979. Some of us waited a long time for 2017!

When will the tours start to organize? 

Generally the tours to an eclipse are organized a year to five years in advance. The longer the advance, the more difficult or limited the options - such as an Antarctic eclipse intercept. There will be one such eclipse coming up in 2021. Planning for that one started over a year ago with contacts made to airlines and ship companies with equipment for tourism in that region.

The 2024 eclipse organizing might already be underway in some places. I expect tour groups will begin to advertise for advance sign up options soon. However the majority of options will not be available until the year before, sometime in 2023. Because of the interest generated in this past August's eclipse it is expected to be another big event generator.



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