Looking up - 2012's astro-tourism hotspots
Sunday 04 September 2011
Astro-tourism is becoming increasingly big business - identified as a World Travel Trend last year by Euromonitor ahead of the World Travel Market and already worth millions to places such as Hawaii, Chile and Australia.
Next year is set to be a stellar one for spacewatching, one company predicted this week, thanks to the spectacular the Transit of Venus, a 'twice in a lifetime' event where Venus passes in between the sun and the Earth.
Nicholas Whitfield of space tourism firm Astro Trails told Relaxnews he believes the transit's rarity (after next year, it won't occur until 2117) will make it the biggest event of the year, although there are several other highlights for those thinking about taking a space-themed break. Here's a list of the astro-tourism events not to be missed in 2012.
1) Transit of Venus, June
Venus crossing the face of the Sun is an exceptionally rare occasion - the last time was in 2004, but if you miss next year's you'll have to wait until 2117.
Place to watch: Hawaii, USA
2) Annular Solar Eclipse, May
Annular eclipses happen every couple of years, causing the sun to look like a ring in the sky, although this will be the first of the century in the continental USA.
Place to watch: China, Japan, US West Coast, Canada
3) Total Solar Eclipse, November
The sudden darkness of a total solar eclipse is rare, although it's pretty difficult to miss if you happen to be in the right place. Getting a good view of the sun's faint corona is a one-in-a-lifetime experience.
Place to watch: Northern Australia
4) Lunar Eclipse, June
The moon will turn red for some astronomers in June, when the Earth's shadow passes over it.
Place to watch: Australia
5) Geminids Meteor Shower, December
Up to 60 multicolored meteors per hour will be streaking through a dark sky during December, peaking from December 13-14.
Place to watch: Northern hemisphere
Additional data provided by specialist tour operator Astro Trails - http://www.astro-trails.com
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...