MIR Tours: Celestial Sightings

MIR Tours: Celestial Sightings

There’s no rest in the skies these days – and nights – with upcoming meteor showers, eclipses, and Northern Lights. Several of these astronomical events are in MIR destinations. Here’s a preview:

Eclipsing the SunWhen the moon passes between the sun and earth, blocking direct sunlight to us on Earth, it’s called a solar total eclipse. The moon’s shadow briefly turns daylight into darkness.

On the first day of spring, March 20, 2015, light will become night for nearly three minutes of totality on the Faroe Islands between Iceland and Scotland. The Path of Totality will partially cover many MIR destinations, including:

It’s a great celestial reason to time a MIR custom private journey  in March to one of these regions.

Grab your sunglasses for the next total solar eclipse: March  20, 2015 <br>Photo credit: NASA

Grab your sunglasses for the next total solar eclipse: March 20, 2015
Photo credit: NASA

Eclipsespartial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014 is best seen in the U.S. and Canada, but viewable in other countries as well. The moon’s partial shadow will first touch Earth on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East.

Northern LightsThe skies light up in shades of green, red, purple, and white in this nighttime phenomenon known as the “Aurora Borealis.” It’s most commonly visible in wintertime in northern parts of North America, Scandinavia, and northern parts of Western Russia, such as the Kola Peninsula.

While there are no set dates for viewing the Northern Lights, your odds for catching them increase from late September to March, when they appear more frequently.

And coming up in 2015, we’re introducing a new journey by private train that chases the Northern Lights above the Arctic Circle into polar Russia and Norway.  It’s called Arctic Explorer.

Meteor ShowersMark your calendar for these favorite meteor showers best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere, viewable from almost all MIR destinations from Belarus to Bulgaria, Turkey to Tajikistan, and Kaliningrad to Kazakhstan.

  • Perseids: August 11-13, 2014. A summertime classic, the Perseids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere an hour or two before dawn, with a high density count of about 50 stars an hour.
  • Geminid: December 13-14, 2014. Also best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere, Geminid is a holiday gift that lasts all night with stars shooting at a whopping rate of 75 an hour.
  • Rising Stars: Be on the lookout for these upcoming meteor showers: Draconid on October 9, 2014: Orionid on October 21-22, and Leonid on November 17-18. They aren’t as abundant in falling stars as the Perseids and Geminid, but still fun to watch.

Travel for Astrological Events with MIRSeveral MIR tours visit observatories or planetariums, such as Ulug Bek, Central Asia’s largest observatory on many tours to Central Asia. Built in 1420, it’s located in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Some MIR tours to Siberia stop by the Baikal Astrophysical Observatory in Listvyanka on Lake Baikal, Siberia. It features a large solar telescope – perfect for viewing in the near-total darkness of Siberia.

In 2008, MIR led travelers to Novosibirsk in Siberia  to view the total eclipse of the sun. You can also book a custom private journey  to view upcoming celestial sightings in the months and seasons ahead.

(Top photo credit: NASA)

PUBLISHED: August 28, 2014

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