Video Of The Day: Partial Solar Eclipse Shadows

Mark Day is a videographer with an eye for beauty. Instead of lamenting over the fact that he couldn’t stare straight into the partially eclipsed sun during the solar eclipse he saw on May 20, he decided to make a video of the surreal shadows cast from the eclipsed sun. I saw the video first on Laughing Squid. The crescent shapes make hard surfaces look like rippling water, reflecting the sunlight in fragments. Did you see the solar eclipse on May 20? If so, did you see it in full or partially? Let us know what your eclipse experience was like in the comments. Feel free to link to any photos of videos you have.

Video: Solar Eclipse Time Lapse

Cory Poole put together an impressive time-lapse video of the May 20 solar eclipse. Poole captured 700 images of the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Redding, California. Through a Coronado Solar Max 60 Double Stack telescope, Poole caught the beautiful images. Accompanying the video is music that appears to be his own, noted as having been made using Ableton Live. If you missed the solar eclipse on May 20, this video will certainly give you a better view than you could have seen with your own eyes.

Catch The May 20 Solar Eclipse From A National Park

Later this month, North America will witness its first solar eclipse in more than 18 years. On May 20, the moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out most of the light from our star and blanketing much of the western United States and Canada in darkness. For astronomy buffs it promises to be quite a celestial event and most will want to take it all in while surrounded by a beautiful setting.

The National Park Service has a few suggestions for those searching for just such a setting. The NPS says that 33 of its parks will offer prime viewing opportunities with six of those falling directly in the eclipse’s path. Those six include Redwoods National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park in California; Zion National Park in Utah; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona; and Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico.

If the skies are clear that day, the parks listed above will be the absolute best places to view the eclipse, which at its peak will cover 96 percent of the sun and create a “Ring of Fire” around the edge of the moon. An additional 125 parks, mostly west of the Mississippi River, will be treated to a partial eclipse, which will also be fun to witness.

Many of the national parks are planning events for the day of the eclipse, which just so happens to fall on a Sunday. That makes it a perfect time to pack up the family and head out to a park near you for an enjoyable day with a rare light show. For a full list of events, click here.

[Photo credit: Sancho_Panza via WikiMedia]

Partial solar eclipse highlights the 2011 Antarctic travel season

A visit to Antarctica is high on the list of “must see” places for travelers looking to get off the beaten path. It is the highest, coldest, driest continent on the planet, and yet it still holds an undeniable allure for many adventure seekers. They come to kayak amongst the massive ice flows, visit penguin colonies, and to step foot in a place that few people ever get to see. This year, a few lucky visitors will also get the opportunity to witness a solar eclipse.

On November 25th, a partial solar eclipse will take place in the southernmost regions of the planet, making it only visible in New Zealand and the Antarctic. While the kiwis will have just 20% of the sun obscured from view, the Antarctic Peninsula will see nearly 90% of our star blocked from sight as the moon passes in front of it. Anyone traveling through the region on that day is sure to have a once in a lifetime experience.

Adventure travel specialists Quark Expeditions is not only preparing for the impending Antarctic cruise season, which begins in November, they’re currently offering a 15% discounts on all of their cruises scheduled to take place during the eclipse. The company has two different itineraries available and four separate cruises that will be in the Antarctic when the celestial event takes place.

It isn’t often that you know that a travel experience is going to be truly unique and special before you even go. But I’d say witnessing a solar eclipse over the Antarctic Peninsula ranks as an unforgettable sight.

[Photo credit: sancho_panza via WikiMedia]

Weekend travel media top five

This weekend’s most interesting travel stories include a look at Egypt’s seldom explored coast west of Alexandria, a long weekend guide to Singapore, a travel guide to solar eclipse runs, a profile of Boracay, the Philippines’ popular holiday island, and a 12-day Great Australian Aircruise.

1. In the Guardian, Belinda Jackson takes a road trip from Alexandria to Marsa Matruh and on to the border town of Sollum. Highlights include the beaches of Marsa Matruh and friendly coastal Bedouin villages.

2. In the West Australian, Veronica Matheson outlines a three-night Singapore visit, full of good restaurant and neighborhood tips.

3. In the San Francisco Chronicle, April Orcutt describes her decades-long interest in solar eclipses, detailing eclipse-chasing trips to Hawaii, Chile, and Curaçao and closing with a calendar of five future total solar eclipses.

4. In the New York Times, Lionel Beehner writes about Boracay in the Philippines (see above), wondering if the island might be morphing into the next Phuket.

5. In the Australian, Judith Elen does an Australian Aircruise over the course of 12 days, exploring the awe-inspiring natural beauty and cultural eccentricity of Australia’s “Red Centre.”

[Image: Flickr/~MVI~ (surviving on globe tattoo)]