Solar eclipse attracts visitors to Niue

A planet, star and satellite aligned on Tuesday morning as Niue bore witness to a partial solar eclipse.

23 visitors arrived on Niue’s Monday flight just to witness the event happening at least every 18 months somewhere in the world – with Niue fortunate to be one of those few countries this time around.  This perhaps won’t occur here in Niue until another 100 years says Planetarium Supervisor Tony Smith from Bishop Museum Hawaii.

Smith is currently on island to help facilitate an astronomy course for those interested in establishing astro tours here in Niue as with the tour programme held this week.  The 4 hour course was held at the Scenic Matavai Resort over the weekend. Prohibited by the cloud cover over the weekend, it’s planned for a clearer night to test their skills of equipment including the telescope and astron binoculars to identify major constellations. 

Felicity Bollen, CEO for Niue Tourism is excited at the prospect of astro tourism in Niue explaining the event today was a sell out within 2 days of advertising.  She spoke of the growth to Niue’s economy accompanied with the low impact on the environment through such tourism.

Smith returns to Hawaii this coming Friday but before then he’ll be showcasing a video produced for their Bishop Museum Planetarium to the Niue High School on Thursday morning.  

Story by Fiafia Rex

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