Sign up now for your 2009 solar eclipse tour

On July 22, 2009, China and the South Pacific will experience a total eclipse of the sun — and tours to see it are selling out almost as soon as they’re announced. Sirius Travels, a company specializing in eclipse tours, said their first tour filled up so fast they had to open another one and are thinking about offering a third.

According to USA Today, “eclipses happen on average about every 18 months. But not all are created equal. Some last just a few seconds; others darken the sky for up to seven minutes. And where they occur makes a huge difference.” Often one will occur over the ocean, or in areas where it’s usually foggy our cloudy. But the 2009 eclipse will be take place over relatively easy-to-reach areas that generally have good weather. Plus it will last a whopping 5 minutes.

Eclipse tours are typically accompanied by an astronomer, and include other astronomical sites. For a list of tour companies that offer such tours, as well as some tips for choosing your trip, read the USA Today article here. Happy star-gazing!