There is a magical island nestled comfortably in the Indian Ocean that never ceases to amaze visitors and is only a four hour flight from Johannesburg on Air Austral. This is the island of Reunion, where you will experience a destination that is unlike any other. And the magic will continue on the 1 September 2016, when a full solar eclipse will change the sky dramatically over the island.
Reunion will be the perfect location to observe an astronomical event out of the ordinary – an annular eclipse of the sun that will plunge much of the island into twilight darkness for more than three hours between 12:20 to 3:40 p.m. when the moon will eclipse the sun. From 2:10 p.m. onwards most of the island will end up under a twilight sky as the moon moves between earth and the sun which will leave the sun in the sky as a fire ring.
The island location was chosen by the astronomers of the Observatoire de Paris Meudon to be the place of official observation of this exceptional event. The total or annular solar eclipses are rare events for a given location. For the island of Reunion, the last visible total eclipse occurred in 1901. Beyond the annular eclipse of 1 September 2016 it will not be until the year 2200 when another eclipse will occur and the year 2267 for another total eclipse to be seen from this island.
It is no surprise then that the event will attract thousands of visitors all opting for the best location to view the eclipse. This is on the southwest coast of the island between the tip of the Pit at Salt Pond and St. Peter’s beaches where the natural phenomenon will be the most spectacular for those lucky enough to experience this ‘show‘ live.
The town dedicated to this eclipse is Etang du Gol where the solar ring will be most visible. To accommodate the observers from around the world, everything will be put in place to ensure their comfort and safety. This will make it possible to observe the astronomical phenomenon through the provision of mobile instruments of the Observatory of Makes and watch it on a large HD projection screen. Special protective eyeshades will be available on site. For those who own their own observation equipment, it will be possible to book a place via the Observatory of Makes.
What better way than to choose this unique event to go to the island of Reunion! The entire island is preparing for an unforgettable moment.