Solar eclipse over Easter Island

Solar eclipse over Easter Island

A lucky group of about 1,000 tourists, photographers and astronomers watched today as a full solar eclipse took place over Easter Island.

The Polynesian island off the coast of Chile is famous for its 887 monumental statues, called moia, believed to have been carved in rocks between the 13th and 15th centuries. The eclipse started at around 12.40pm in bright sunlight before totality was achieved some 40 minutes later.

Writer and astronomer Michael Bakich watched the event live from the island and told readers of his blog: “Our meterologist Harry, from Holland, had predicted clear skies at eclipse time, and he was right. I’ve now travelled to 12 total solar eclipses, and I cannot imagine a more exotic location from which to view one. Needless to say, our group was ecstatic. Some were moved to tears.”

Easter Island, which has the indigenous name Rapa Nui, can be reached by flights from Santiago, Chile, four times a week.

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