Touched by the Moon's Shadow

A total solar eclipse is the most spectacular event nature has to offer. If you've never seen one, it's hard to imagine how overwhelmingly beautiful it is. And if you are lucky enough to have experienced one before, chances are you've become addicted.

Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, blotting out its light. It gets dark in the midst of day. Planets and bright stars become briefly visible. Animals grow restless; birds return to their nests. And for a few minutes, the silverly white, shimmering atmosphere of the Sun becomes visible - the corona (Latin for 'crown'), a beautiful glow around the ink-black silhouette of the moon.

 

Total solar eclipses are rare. In its orbit around the Earth, the Moon usually passes a little bit above or below the Sun. And even in the case of an eclipse, you need to be at the right spot at the right time to witness totality. During your lifetime, it's very unlikely there will be a total eclipse visible from your hometown or any place nearby. To enjoy the beauty, you'll have to travel.

 

The total solar eclipse of December 4, 2021, is a special one. It can only be seen from parts of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean between the Antarctic Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost point of South America. Moreover, during totality, the Sun will be relatively low in the sky, close to the horizon. This will make for a stunning view of the Moon's shadow racing through the Earth's atmosphere.

 

During our cruise, internationally acclaimed astronomy writer Govert Schilling will lecture about astronomy in general, about astronomical research carried out in Antarctica, about the search for life in the universe, and of course about solar eclipses and how to observe them. Experiencing this miraculous event in one of the most stunning environments on our planet is promising to be one of the highlights of your life.

 

Govert Schilling