On Tuesday July 2, a rare total eclipse completely blocked the Sun in parts of South America and the South Pacific. During the eclipse, Peace Boat was sailing between Rapa Nui and Tahiti. Participants on the 101st Global Voyage had the privilege to witness this unique event first hand from a very particular location.
The eclipse started at 10:34 am and lasted for 3 minutes and 50 seconds. The sky darkened as if the Sun had disappeared suddenly and the temperature dropped. Ito Shoichi, a researcher from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and onboard guest lecturer, supervised the observation since pre-departure. “We monitored the weather and cloud conditions for a few days and navigated in order to get into a spot in between the clouds. Today there were a few clouds, but we were still able to see the corona, the outermost part of the Sun's atmosphere”, he explained.
Some participants onboard the ship voiced their wonders at "how the day turned into darkness, feeling a cool environment," or how moved they were by watching the corona. Undoubtedly, this was a unique experience that only Peace Boat participants have been able to observe from such a unique location, amid the southern Pacific Ocean.