the eclipse chaser business

A solar eclipse it is a unique show. Although there are only three types, each one is different. For the astrophotographers they are wonderful times to take your cameras out for a walk. The problem is that they are not seen on the whole planet equally. Therefore, these shows may be left to thousands and thousands of miles away. For most mortals this is a reason to surrender and enjoy themselves solely through the live broadcasts. However, for eclipse chasers It is not a problem. It can even be considered practically an incentive.

These are people trying to witness the greatest possible number of eclipses during his lifetime. Some are photographers. Others simply enjoy watching the show, not immortalizing it beyond their retinas and their own memories. But, both for some and for others, it is an illusion in which they willingly invest their time and money.

And, of course, how could it be otherwise, there are those who do deal with that. In some cases, at levels difficult to imagine.

On the hunt for the solar eclipse

The lunar eclipses They are precious phenomena, which will delight any lover of the astronomy. But they don’t have the same magnetism as a solar eclipse. At least not for those known as eclipse chasers.

To find out a little more about the subject, at we have contacted the director of the Astronomy magazine, Ángel Gómez Roldán. He is a great fan, who has come to see up to 9 total eclipses of the Sun, and he is clear why they are so attractive, although he does not belittle Luna’s. “They are very different, and each one has its charm“, Explain. “The moles are at night, slow and striking, but those of the Sun are during the day and much more spectacular if they are total. The totality phase is fast, explosive and, why not say it, brutal. It takes your breath away ”.

For this reason, people like Ángel plan their trips ahead of time to witness the next big solar eclipse. There will be some coming soon. For example, in 2022 there will be two partial eclipses, one in April and one in October. The problem is that a partial solar eclipse is not as striking as a total or annular one. Therefore, the eyes of eclipse chasers are already set on 2026 and 2027.

Expectation in Spain

Since 1959 a total solar eclipse has not been seen in Spain ”, recalls Gómez Roldán. “It was in the Canary Islands.”

Since 1959 a total solar eclipse has not been seen in Spain and since 1999 in Europe

Therefore, now there is great expectation with the one in 2026. It will take place in August and will be the first visible in Europe since 1999. The best places on the continent to see it will be Russia, Greenland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. In the latter, it will be visible in the north and in the Balearic Islands, so some people already plan their summer vacations, 5 years in advance, to go to one of these places.

The same expectation, or even more, is with that of August 2027. This will be visible especially in Cádiz, Malaga, Ceuta and Melilla. It is a time of year when coastal accommodations reach maximum occupancy, so many eclipse chasers are already planning to rent apartments or even boats in these territories, to see the show up close.

This is the destination for those who do not want to leave Spain. However, by 2027 some big fans are already saving to travel to Luxor, Egypt, as this will be one of the cities where the disappearance of the sun will be best observed.

The business of eclipse chasers

Behind great expectations there is always great business. This is why many owners of apartments for rent take advantage of this increased demand to raise your prices. It occurs in any place where a solar eclipse is going to be seen in full, but especially if it is exotic enclaves. “When an eclipse passes by remote sites and sparsely populated, prices become astronomical, never better said, “says the fan consulted by this medium. “Even years in advance. For example, in the 2010 Easter Island total eclipse the prices of the accommodations multiplied by 10”.

In very remote places, accommodation prices can be multiplied by 10

Ángel Gómez Roldán, director of the magazine ‘Astronomy’

It is a huge expenditure of money, which perhaps someone not fond of astronomy can not understand. However, Gómez Roldán is clear about it: “If you haven’t seen a total solar eclipse you can’t imagine what you’re going to feel. That’s why, once you’ve seen one, all you think is: when and where is the next one? “

To finish defining what it feels like, he quotes a paragraph from the book A Handbook of Solar Eclipses, by the astronomer Isabel Martin Lewis:

“Observing a total eclipse of the Sun is a privilege that very few people have. Once seen, however, it is a phenomenon that will never be forgotten. The black body of the Moon standing out in sinister relief between the Sun and the Earth ; the sudden and brilliant glow of the pearly crown, impossible to observe at any other time; the scarlet bulges rising from the surface of the hidden Sun to heights of many thousands of miles; the unusual presence of the brightest stars and planets during the day, the darkness of twilight, and the strange breeze in the air. There is something in all this that affects even the most temperate nerves, and it is almost with a sigh of relief that we greet the return of our friend the Sun. “

A Handbook of solar Eclipes, Isabel Martin Lewis

In short, if there are those who save for years to lie down in front of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, why wouldn’t other people do it to witness such a show?

Like everything in life, it is a matter of taste. And, like everything in life, it moves a lot of money. For this reason, there may already be people in Cádiz preparing to make their August. The one in 2027.

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