On my way back from the Dronning Maud Land in Antarctica, where I was for the November 23-24, 2003 Total Solar Eclipse, I had already decided to return for the next eclipse in Antarctica. Moreover, this eclipse could be observed from Antarctica’s highest peak, one of the world "Seven Summits".
More than 18 months of hard work have been necessary to organize an expedition to observe the annular solar eclipse on Thursday 2008 February 7. And only two people, Ralph and myself, had the chance to observe the annular phase from the Mount Vinson summit. The journey began in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas from where we flew on a special flight directly across the Drake Passage to the ice runway of Patriot Hills-Arturo Parodi in Antarctica. Then after a long lonesome ride using snowmobiles pulling heavy sledges we reached the 2,100 m (7,000 ft) Mount Vinson Base Camp from where we started the 4,897 m (16,067 ft) ascent of Antarctica’s highest peak. The whole odyssey took us three weeks and though the weather has often been stormy, on eclipse day the sky was mostly clear with a strong wind.
Another total solar eclipse will occur in Antarctica on December 4, 2021 and will be visible from Patriot Hills, but only partial at Mount Vinson. However, on 2076 January 6, a total eclipse will occur right on the summit.
You can use this solar eclipse calculator to compute the local circumstances of the eclipse and with the windchill calculator you can estimate the real temperature.
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