Svalbard 2015 News (in Norwegian) Transit of Venus 2012 Spitsbergen Travel Norsk

You are here: The eclipse


On March 20, 2015 one of the most important and spectacular celestial events in Norway in our century takes place: A total solar eclipse On Spitsbergen. Due to the weather conditions in this time of the year Svalbard is beyond competition regarding expected visibility. On the North Pole the Sun will become totally eclipsed as it comes into view after 6 months of polar night. This happens only every 400 000 – 500 000 years! In the Norwegian mainland more than 90 % of the Sun will be eclipsed.

A total solar eclipse! The impressive solar corona is shining with a strange, silvery light around the black night side of the Moon. Photo: NASA

Total solar eclipses are exceedingly impressive natural events and affect all our senses: When the last rays from the sun disappears behind the Moon the beautiful diamond ring effect can be enjoyed for a few seconds. In the moment the corona – the outer solar atmosphere appears. The brightest stars and planets have come into view. Towards the horizon in all directions there is a strange, reddish light. The temperature falls, insects and birds stop making sounds and the landscape changes dramatically in only a few moments.

Total solar eclipses are only visible along a narrow band typically 100 – 200 kilometers wide. As an example, the eclipse on July 22, 2009 was visible along a band stretching from India, China and across the Pacific.

The total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 is unique. It will probably only be visible from the ground in one populated area: Longyearbyen on Svalbard, Norway!

Quicktime movie (18 MB) shows the solar eclipse in Longyearbyen on March 20, 2015 at 11 am. Duration: 1 min 2 secs. Animation: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard

Quicktime movie (43 MB, duration 2 mins 20 secs). The solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 as viewed from the Moon. The shadow moves along the Norwegian coast line and crosses Svalbard on its way to the North Pole. Animation: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard

Quicktime movie (6 MB, duration 1 min 4 secs). The solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 viewed from Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Animation: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard

But even more remarkable things happen at the North Pole! On March 20 the Sun returns after a polar night that has lasted 6 months. Then the Sun becomes totally eclipsed. This is an incredibly rare, beautiful and impressive coincidence!


In average a total eclipse occurs every 200 years or so on a particular point of our planet. Sometimes there can be 300-400 years between these eclipses. In order to estimate the repetition rate of a total eclipse on a particular day we must multiply with 365. That means 70 000 years between such occurences. But it is not sufficient that the eclipse takes place at any time of the day. It has to happen around noon. We must therefore multiply with 6 and the result is an average repetition interval of 400-500 000 years!

Quicktime movie (19 MB) of the solar eclipse on the North Pole on March 20, 2015. Duration 1 min 3 secs. Animation: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard

The solar eclipse can be expected to become extremely beautiful since the Sun is very close to the horizon and the white ice and snow in the Arctic.

A exceptionally rare view! A total eclipse over the North Pole at the same time that the Sun returns to view after 6 months of polar night.
Illustration: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard


Eclipse begins: 10.11.52,2
Start of totality: 11.10.42,8
End of totality: 11.13.10,2
Eclipse ending: 12.12.20,8
Altitude of Sun during totality: 11.2-11.3 degrees
Totality will last for 2 mins 27.4 secs. This is 7 seconds than the duration at the center line which is situated a little further west.

The previous total solar eclipses in Norwegian territory occured on August 1, 2008 (Kvitøya) and June 30, 1954 (across the southernmost Norway).

In the mainland the eclipse on March 20, 2015 will be a very large partial eclipse. Most areas will enjoy an eclipse of at least 90 %.


Local circumstances for the eclipse

Table with eclipse data

NASAs main web site about solar eclipses

Celestial events in Norway 2010-2015

The large solar eclipse of May 31, 2003

The total solar eclipse on kvitøya on August 1, 2008

Eclipse shades for the events

It is important to get eclipse shades for the unique transit of Venus of June 6, 2012. If you miss this one, you will not have any other opportunity! More information about eclipse shades and solar telescope

Vårt magiske univers: Norwegian movie about space

Magnificent images, movies accompanied by majestic music.

Extensive Norwegian DVD about space and eclipses.

Separate tracks about the eclipses in Norway in 1954, Turkey in 2006, the Arctic in 2008 and China in 2009.

DVD describing the celestial events (in Norwegian, but highly self-explanatory) 2010-2015

The film describes what will happen, why and what it will look like from different locations in Norway, on the Moon and from the Sun. More information (in Norwegian)

Web sites News from space in Norwegian describes the spectacular total solar eclipse taking place on Svalbard and the North Pole on March 20, 2015.



Contact: Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard Phone: (+47) 99 27 71 72 E-mail: Anne Mette Sannes Phone: (+47) 97 03 80 50 E-mail: