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The best place on Earth to witness a total eclipse
Posted on 29/12/2014

NatureFaroe Islands

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ECLIPSE: There are only two places on Earth where it will be possible to view a total solar eclipse in March 2015 and from the sounds of it, the Faroe Islands are cooking up a treat for the occasion.

Now, centuries later, the islands are to witness another total eclipse, this time in on March 20, 2015 at precisely 9.41am. The islands are one of only two places on Earth where the spectacle will be visible from land, the other being Svalbard - the Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

Solar eclipses happen only very rarely, when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, thus blocking out direct sunlight. Total solar eclipses are even rarer still and only appear when the moon blocks out the sun's light completely. For this, the sun, moon and earth must all be perfectly aligned in their orbits.

Torshavn, capital of the Faroe Islands

Torshavn, capital of the Faroe Islands
Roland Zihlmann / age fotostock

There is an old Faroese legend that tells of four constantly-bickering brothers who were out on the hills of the southernmost point of the islands taking care of their flocks of sheep. All of a sudden, the sky went dark and the brothers became afraid, promising God that if he let them live they would never argue again. The sky suddenly became light again and the brothers never bickered again. Many believe that this is supernatural story is actually an account of a total eclipse which would have been visible from the Faroe Islands in 1612.

The islands are home to some of the most stunningly wild scenery in the world, perched on a small collection of rocks far out into the Atlantic Ocean. The eclipse will see visitors pour into the capital Torshavn, in search of the optimum viewing point and ready to enjoy the rest of the festivities on offer throughout the day. It's a perfect opportunity to sample the local cuisine and get a flavour for life on these stranded islands.

The grassy rooftops of the main city

The grassy rooftops of the main city
ZoonarGerhard Alkof / age fotostock


Idyllic island hotel, submarine on the side
Kyoto's little-known festivals of light

The desolate landscape of Svalbard

The desolate landscape of Svalbard

More information on planned activities and events for March 20 are available from the official Faroe Islands total eclipse website, as well as times and durations of the eclipse and advice on protective eye wear to view the phenomenon as safely as possible.