Best of the Maldives: 2010 Annular Eclipse – Huvafen Fushi

Google Map - Maldives eclipse

On 15 January 2010, an annular eclipse will be visible from a 300-km-wide track that traverses central Africa, the Indian Ocean and eastern Asia.  Several resorts will be in the shadows path (follow the handy Google map plotting the course above), but Huvafen Fushi is the one resort where the centre passes directly over the island.

An annular solar eclipse does complete cover the sun with the moon, but it takes place where the moon is too far from the Earth to completely cover the sun’s disk.  That leaves a blazing “ring of fire” shining around the moon as it passes in front of the sun from Earth’s perspective. It is not quite as dramatic as a ‘total eclipse’, but quite a dramatic celestial event nonetheless.  The GIF (click on graphic to see animated version) above shows last year’s annular eclipse in the Maldives that was 93% annularity. This year, the instant of greatest eclipse occurs at 07:06:33 UT when the eclipse magnitude will reach 0.9190. At this instant, the duration of annularity is 11 minutes 8 seconds, the path width is 333 kilometers and the Sun is 66° above the flat horizon formed by the open ocean. On dramatic point is that such a long annular duration will not be exceeded for over 1000 years (3043 Dec 23).  The timing in January is one of the driest periods of the year which helps to ensure an unobstructed view. Lots of people go to Maldives for the sun, and here is a chance to go for a ‘sun event’.

Annular Eclipse

Best of the Maldives: Geek Activity – Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi Ever Soneva So Celestial Observatory

If the stars you are seeking are not the movie and celebrity type, but more of the celestial sort, then Soneva Fushi resort is the place for you.

When we visit the Maldives, we like to take a night sky star-map so after dinner we can lie on the beach and do some stirring star gazing. With clear skies and no light pollution to speak of, the stars shine out brilliantly. Also, being at the equator, one can see both northern and southern hemisphere constellations.

But if you really want to take this activity to a serious level, Soneva Fushi resort offers its very own “Ever Soneva So Celestial” Observatory.

“Equipped with a striking Meade RCX400 telescope, the observatory in the organic garden is the latest addition to Soneva Fushi’s unique guest experiences and offers magnificent views into the starry sky.”