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Tried astro-tourism yet?

india Updated: Sep 07, 2011 00:15 IST
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Scenic cities are passe — it’s the skies that hold better stuff to watch. Astro-tourism is becoming big business around the world, and has been identified as a major world travel trend by Euromonitor ahead of the World Travel Market. The places that are commanding the lion’s share in this market — Hawaii, Chile and Australia.

Experts also predict that spacewatching will be a stellar next year too, thanks to the spectacular 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 said the transit’s rarity (after next year, it won’t occur until 2117) will make it the biggest event of the year. Here are the options for those thinking about taking a space-themed break:Transit of Venus, June Venus crossing the face of the Sun is an rare occasion — the last time was in 2004, but if you miss next year’s, you’ll have to wait until 2117.

Places to watch: Hawaii, USA

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. Places to watch: China, Japan, US West Coast, Canada, Total Solar Eclipse, November.

The sudden darkness of a total solar eclipse is rare. Getting a good view of the sun’s faint corona is a one-in-a-lifetime experience.

Place to watch: Northern Australia

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

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