Next Total Solar Eclipse on August 1, 2008 @ Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia
(also known as Russian eclipse, Chinese eclipse or Mongolian eclipse)
Added May 2012: Next total solar eclipses will be 2012 (Australia), 2015 (Europe), 2016 and 2017 (USA). Visit Total-Eclipse-2012.com or Wikipedia for more information.
A solar eclipse is a rarely observed phenomenon, while a total solar eclipse can be seen rarer by far – 5 or 6 times a decade. However, what happens even less frequently is a total solar eclipse to be observed exclusively in a particular part of the planet. Earlier on, eclipses were a source of distraction for professional astronomers and a small quantity of amateur fans only, but last two decades have changed everything. Since the total solar eclipse of 1999 in Europe - according to some statistics being the most-viewed one in history - the observations have been attracting more and more fans. There has even been invented the term ‘eclipse-chasers’ which means travelers who strive to be present at every single eclipse and count how much time they spend in its shadow.
Line of next total solar eclipse 2008 in Russia. Click to enlarge. Image by Jay Anderson.
The next solar eclipse will occur on August 1, 2008. The moon’s shadow will follow past North Canada through Greenland to Russia, paying a visit to Northern China and then it will disappear. The motion can be traced on the map above. Indeed, a few civilized places get on the way of the shadow. But, what a nice surprise! Study the second, more detailed, map and you’ll find that Novosibirsk lies exactly on the central line of the eclipse.
Here it is - exactly on the line! Click to enlarge. Image by Jay Anderson.
What Can Novosibirsk (Russia) Offer to Those Wishing to Observe the Eclipse?
First of all, Novosibirsk is a major transportation junction of Russia which is as easy to reach by plane as it is by train. For further details visit How to get to Novosibirsk.
Secondly, it is the third largest city in Russia and the main business-center of Siberia. So, you will certainly not have to put up with the lack of the attributes of civilization you are accustomed to.
Thirdly, Novosibirsk lies on a flat, so it is easy to find a good observation point. Our advice on how to choose a correct spot can be found in “Where to observe?”.
Next, there are five major hotels and about fifty small ones inside the city limits. See the list of hotels in the "Accommodation" section.
Last, the weather in August is quite propitious – it is warm and not cloudy. Anyway, wind drags away all the clouds covering the Ob River. Here is some precise statistics:
More detailed information about eclipse characteristics (like cloud prospects and other details) you can find on Sheridan Williams' website.
We have also prepared for you a comparative study of eclipse-tours offered by various companies. As we have nothing to do with this sort of business, we hope that we have managed to make an unprejudiced comparison based on facts and our opinion about the attractiveness of programs from the point of view of Novosibirsk citizens.
However, during the totality phase (when the sun is completely blocked) it is perfectly safe to look at the sun without protection: serious (and not- so- serious) eclipse chasers have been doing this for years with no harm. In fact, it is the most beautiful thing and not to be missed - the corona (the outer atmosphere of the sun that becomes visible during totality) is gloriously beautiful - but people will not see this if they are trying to protect their eyes during totality. So, when the last bit of sunlight is blocked out, it's safe to look.
When the sun returns, people must go back to protecting their eyes again.
Only special eclipse viewing glasses may be used and only then after they have been inspected for any damage. Also, they must not be used in conjuction with any other optical device at all, such as a camera, binoculars, or a telescope.
P.S. NovosibirskGuide.com gives credit to Mark Egan and Mike Murphy for their help with writing this article.