Eclipse chasers

Eclipse chasers, I’ve decided, are among the coolest people on the planet ((I am now one of them)). What more intriguing reason could incite a motley band of astronomers, star gazers, and the curious–like us–to travel to some remote (dare I say it… desolate) location on the planet, with camping gear and pounds of hi-tech gear in tow, just to stare at the sky for a couple of minutes?

I learned about this fascinating subculture from Gavin, an Englishman Benjamin and I met while traveling in Asia ((We were on a 13-month trip; see the DestinationTBD.com page for more info)). His travel history zig-zags him around the planet to a myriad of exotic locales, all to witness solar eclipses. Later, I came upon a bewitching black and white photograph of tourists donned in desert clothes against the backdrop of Egypt’s pyramids, all looking in unison at the sky and the black glow where the moon hovers in front of the sun. It was then that I decided to someday travel to an eclipse myself.

People I’ve asked use words like magical, overwhelming, emotional, and just plain awesome to describe the experience of a total solar eclipse. It seems that most everyone attempts to prepare themselves intellectually before the event, and instead experience wild emotions, calling it a “total body experience”, and speaking of an intangible yet intense feeling of connection to the planet and the universe beyond.

Hel-lo! And why wouldn’t we go all the way to Mongolia for this?

A few YouTube eclipse videos:
Solar Eclipse over Turkey 2006
Total Solar Eclipse 2003 Antarctica
Solar eclipse seen by NASA’s STEREO spacecraft

A few YouTube informational videos:
Why Are Solar Eclipses Only Visible in Some Places?
Eclipses

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