Over 800 tourists from India to chase annular solar eclipse
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 22:50
Kochi: Chasing the longest annular solar eclipse of the third millennium, over 800 'Astro' tourists from different parts of the country today embarked on a journey to Male in Maldives on board a luxury cruise vessel to witness the 'rare celestial event' on January 15.

The luxury liner with 825 passengers on board left for Maldives this evening from Kochi port.

"This will truly herald in the concept of Astro tourism in India, a way for people to merge a cruise to idyllic Maldives with a chance to see a rare celestial wonder of the annular eclipse," Mila Mitra, Scientific officer, SPACE, a scientific organisation, said.

Last July during the total Solar Eclipse, SPACE had launched the 'first time eclipse flight' in India. "First by air, and now by water, we are launching innovative ways to take the eclipse to every Indian," she said in a release.

The 'first' Eclipse cruise is being organised by the Louis cruises and Space Technology and Education Private Ltd (SPACE), an organisation working for the development of science and astronomy in India.

The aim is to bring together the exciting sphere of astronomy, space services and unravel the wonders of the sky, Amit Verma, Chief Executive Officer, SPACE, said.

The last time such an occurrence was viewed in India was on Nov 22, 1965 and the phenomena is not expected to be repeated before June 21, 2020.

According to Fujian Provincial Observatory of China, this will be the millennium's longest annular eclipse of the sun with its duration being 11 minutes and 08 seconds over the Indian ocean.


First Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 22:50

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