Project Greenland 2021

Arctic Circle Annular Solar Eclipse Observation Site

The location of the observation site for an annular eclipse is less significant than the site for a total eclipse, provided you are within the extent of the shadow you will see the eclipse. The geometry of this eclipse track across the North Pole produces a very wide track of around 340 miles. Our base will be in the village of Qaanaaq, around 50 miles from the centre line of the eclipse with an eclipse duration of 3m 32.8s compared with the 3m 43.9s duration at the centre line.  


We expect to be able to observe from the village (subject to weather conditions), however it may be possible to travel closer to the centre line depending on the ice conditions. June is mid-summer in the Arctic and the nature of the sea ice can vary a lot at this time of year. If it has broken it may be possible to use local boats to move location or if the ice is still solid we may be able to enjoy a dog sled experience!

We will not be able to offer any other astronomy aspects within this trip as you will be seeing a solar eclipse in the land of the midnight sun, just 870 miles from the North Pole... but this will be a rare adventure for a very select group. 

Site Data - Qaanaaq


77° 28' 01.36" N  69° 13' 42.54" W

Eclipse Duration 3m 32.8s

(lunar limb corrected)

Start of partial eclipse      09:30:22.2        
Start of annular eclipse    
End of annular eclipse     10:36:59.1   
End of partial eclipse       11:41:52.7

(all times are UT)

Site Data - Centre Line


77° 30' 52.69" N  66° 00' 59.21" W

Eclipse Duration 3m 43.9s

(lunar limb corrected)

Start of partial eclipse      09:30:00.1        
Start of annular eclipse    10:33:13.7
End of annular eclipse     10:37:04.7  
End of partial eclipse       11:42:17.8

(all times are UT)

Weather Prospects

A very detailed analysis of prospective weather conditions for solar eclipses is published on by Jay Anderson. We acknowledge his invaluable contribution to successful eclipse observing over many years. Here is part of his article on the 2021 annular eclipse.

"The very best observing possibilities can be found atop the hard-to-reach Greenland icecap where cold air contains much less moisture than elsewhere along the track. That cold, dry air spills off of the icecap onto the coast, contributing to the promising statistics at Qaanaaq and Pifuffik revealed in Table 1.

Qaanaaq sports the lowest average cloud amount of any inhabited site along the eclipse according to the statistics in Table 1. The eclipse also comes at an altitude of 22° in the sky, which increases the probability of a clear line of sight to the Sun in a sky with broken cloudiness. From Table 1, 60 percent of the observations at eclipse time had skies that were less than half covered by cloud, and 43 percent were clear."

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