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Images from our last Lunar Eclipse Tour to Majkhali in the Himalayas 15 June 2011.
Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour - 10th December 2011
On a long winter night when the silver Full Moon rises high,
Over the snow-white Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, Trisul,
It will be lounging in the Earth's shadow.
Quite leisurely the moon will saunter inside the shadow,
And turn from argent to copper.
It's a beautiful and tranquil happening, reminding you of the rhythmic motions of Sun, Moon and Earth.
(A lunar eclipse is beautiful to the eyes of a scientist, artist, mathematician, adult and children alike.)
Aperture Telescopes invites you to see the Total Lunar Eclipse of 10th December 2011 from Majkhali in the Himalayas. The rhythmic celestial mechanics will line up Sun, Earth and the Moon in an almost straight trajectory. The Moon will pass through the shadow cast by the Earth, producing a beautiful spectacle in the sky. As the Moon slips into the Earth's shadow, it will slowly turn crimson, over the snow capped Nanda Devi (the highest Himalayan peak in India). The scene of this Lunar Eclipse is the Winter Hexagon, right in between the horns of Taurus. Star clusters Hyades and Pleiades will become visible close to crimson eclipsed moon. The venue for this tour is just 80 kms away from Nanda Devi. The December Himalayan skies are blue and clear.
Participation: On the observation terrace at Majkhali you will rub shoulders with some great eclipse chasers from around the world. A few famous 'Eclipse Personalities' who have already paid-up for the tour are: Mr. Eclipse himself - Fred Espenak (USA), Extreme eclipse chaser Xavier Jubier (France), THE Eclipse Meteorologist Jay Anderson (Canada), Rocket Scientist Sheridan Williams & Frances Donovan (United Kingdom), Mr. Black Sun - Kris Delcourte (Belgium), Georg Lenzen (Switzerland), Aaron Brown (USA), Rob Lucas & Helen Robinson (Australia).
A maximum of 20 participants will be registered for the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour. We request you to register early as the 20 spots will get booked quickly. This is a Astronomical Vacation tour. We invite families with children on the tour. The resort area and accommodation is quite child friendly. Families will enjoy their stay at the resort.
Solar Eclipse Conference Participants (SEC-11) are welcome to join the tour. Do let us know if you have any special requirements. It will be quite a tremendous experience to join this Himalayan Tour. There is a reduced participation fee for all confirmed speakers of the Solar Eclipse Conference. (Nothing official about this tour!, not connected to S P A C E, the organisers of SEC-11)
Telescopes available on the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour:
Tour participants will have several large telescopes at their disposal on the Majkhali Terrace to view the Total Lunar Eclipse. We will have the telescope/participant ratio to about 1 telescope per 5 participants, so participants are comfortable watching the eclipse and there is absolutely no rush and no question of a queue forming before each instrument.
USB, Largest Mobile Telescope in India, 20inch: A humongous 20inch diameter telescope will show the lunar eclipse with all its fine details.
Binocular Telescope, 16inch: A 16inch diameter telescope will be fitted with a binocular viewer, unlike typical telescopes, where you use only one eye to see the sky objects, you can comfortably use both your eyes.
Light Bucket Telescope, 12inch: A 12inch diameter telescope is a large telescope, but it is so easy to handle that even new participants will be able to handle it on their own. This telescope will be fitted with the 13mm Ethos eyepiece, which has a very wide field of view.
'Orange', 8inch: This 8inch telescope is a serious telescope with very sharp views, but amazingly can be handled by a 7-8 year old child. Children will be allowed to use this telescope on their own, point it towards the eclipsed moon, discover amazing deep sky object on their own. The clear skies of Majkhali combined with the darkness of a Lunar Eclipse Night will make a beautiful night to wander among the Milky way lanes using this telescope.
25 X 100 Binocular on Parallelogram Stand: The 25 x 100 is considered a large binocular by amateur astronomers. This large binocular will be placed on a very versatile stand for wide angle views of the eclipse and the sky. The best part of this binocular stand is that it can be easily brought down to children's level and still pointing at the same object in the sky. In the last Lunar Eclipse this was the instrument of desire to watch the shadow moving across the Moon.
Meade 12inch, Automatic GOTO Telescope: Another large aperture telescope, 12inch from Meade, will be used to view the eclipse. The telescope will follow the moon continuously, automatically throughout the eclipse. No need to move the telescope manually.
Meade 8inch, Automatic GOTO Telescope: This telescope will follow the Lunar Eclipse automatically, throughout the night and will be fitted with a camera capturing each and every moment of the lunar eclipse.
Enjoy the eclipse on the Pine Terrace at Majkhali, while lounging in a musical atmosphere and feasting an exotic buffet with a variety of Indian teas, coffees, cookies, cheese and crackers.
What’s included in the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour?
What’s not included?
Full payment as well as registration form must reach us on or before the last dates. The participation fee includes accommodation, all boarding at Woodsvilla Resort, but not the travel to and from Ranikhet. Please go through the ‘What’s included’ and ‘What’s not included’ paragraphs carefully.
Cancellations & Refunds:
Travelling to Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour Venue, Majkhali Ranikhet: As a special service to the foreign delegates of Solar Eclipse Conference, SEC-11, Aperture Telescopes can arrange transportation from New Delhi to the tour venue - Woodsvilla Resort. There are two methods to reach Majkhali.
Please email us if you would like us to arrange transportation to Majkhali, Ranikhet by any of the above two methods.
About 10 kms from Ranikhet, on the road which leads towards the famous Golf Course of Ranikhet, continue onwards and you will reach Woodsvilla Resort. It has an open terrace overlooking the Himalayas and wide open to the beautiful night skies. Absolutely no light pollution here, stars above the horizon and little twinkling village lights below the horizon. Faint stars are visible as soon as they pop out from behind the Himalayan peaks. You could carry your camera & tripod around for stunning views of the pine, deodars and the Milky Way, on the Ranikhet Golf Course. Make a time lapse movie of the stars rising above Trishul peaks and the few vehicles moving below in the valleys.
Ranikhet is known for its towering view of the Himalayas as it is close to the base of the mountains. The view of the majestic 26500 feet high Trishul takes one’s breath away. The Trishul view changes dramatically at sunrise, afternoon and sunset, as the angle of the sun rays changes.
About 15 kms from Majkhali, at Katarmal, there is a 800 year old Sun temple. You could also travel to Sitlakhet, and easily trek to the top of the peak for even more astounding views of the Himalayas.
Our location Woodsvilla Resort is ideal for astronomy, negligible light pollution, observation terrace just above the rooms, so anytime you feel like a little rest, just come down to the comfort of your bed, rest for an hour and be back on the observation terrace. A large terrace for astronomy, conference hall, all this in the middle of a small Himalayan pine village ...... an ideal place for the Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour. The hotel also conducts trekking, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities & section with Burma bridges, pool, Table Tennis and the restaurant is named 'Cloud 9'!
Accomodation: The hotel has large, clean rooms, with bay windows overlooking the Himalayas. All the rooms have twin beds as well as an extra bed installed beside the bay window. Accommodation will be on twin room sharing for Lunar Eclipse Himalayan Tour participants. The hotel has provided us with all inclusive plan, all the meals are on the house. You may order your breakfast in your room with ample time flexibility. Lunch and Dinner will be according to the hotel timings in the restaurant only. Anything extra ordered in the room will be paid by the participants themselves at checkout.
Lunar Eclipse Presentation & Discussion: A detailed 90 minute presentation will be held for the participants explaining the circumstances of the eclipse and how to photograph it successfully with your own camera. Support for photographing and processing will also be available before and after the eclipse through email.
What to Bring: Expected temperature, at night, will be between 5-10° C, but prepare for weather that is at least 5° degrees colder. Wear layered clothing, and carry ear and head protection. A hooded jacket is very useful on windy nights. Make and use a check list to see that you don't leave home without something you need, such as your red flashlight as well as extra batteries. Bring a thermos, and something for a late night snack. Even better, bring along some goodies to share with your friends around you. Being active late at night makes most people hungry. Chocolates are an instant energy provider and will also better your vision with the increased blood flow. Wear sturdy and closed footwear, such as running shoes or hiking boots.
You are welcome to bring along your camera, or any other equipment. If you let us know in advance that you are getting a telescope we’ll earmark a suitable location for you to setup your own station, provide electricity and a table.