Millions turn gaze to the sky to view eclipse

(AGI) Rome, March 20 - Tens of millions of people in Europe andparts of Asia and North Africa had their faces turned to thesky on Friday, to admire the exceptional solar eclipse on thesame day as the Spring equinox. The total eclipse was clearlyvisible in the Faroe Islands between Scotland, Iceland, andNorway, and in the Svalbard archipelago located some 1000 kmfrom the North Pole; at least eight thousand enthusiasts hadbooked hotels there years in advance. A Danish scientificmagazine rented a Boeing to follow the event from the sky,dishing out 2000 euros

(AGI) Rome, March 20 - Tens of millions of people in Europe andparts of Asia and North Africa had their faces turned to thesky on Friday, to admire the exceptional solar eclipse on thesame day as the Spring equinox. The total eclipse was clearlyvisible in the Faroe Islands between Scotland, Iceland, andNorway, and in the Svalbard archipelago located some 1000 kmfrom the North Pole; at least eight thousand enthusiasts hadbooked hotels there years in advance. A Danish scientificmagazine rented a Boeing to follow the event from the sky,dishing out 2000 euros for each of the 50 seats, while airlinepassengers en route to Denmark struck lucky after pilotsdeviated slightly from their routes to provide a better view.Londoners, however, were sorely disappointed: droves ofstudents skipped class to flock to the city's hilly areas, andaround 500 people gathered in Regent's Park, only to befrustrated by dense clouds that made the viewing impossible.Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti arguably had the bestview of all from the International Space Station, and publishedphotos on her Twitter account. In Italy, the eclipse reachedits peak between 10.30 and 10.40 a.m., casting a shadow overthe entire peninsula. The national electricity network wasunaffected thanks to countermeasures set in place by Terna -Italy's electricity transmission grid operator - and otherelectricity suppliers. According to experts, Germany and Italywere the most affected by the phenomenon, implementing the mostsuitable measures for their respective electricity systems.During the eclipse's initial phase, Europe's photovoltaicproduction levels were of 27,000 megawatts, then down to 12,000megawatts during its peak, and back up to 37,000 megawatts onceit passed. The next total eclipse viewable from Europe will beon August 12, 2026. Friday, however, was doubly special thanksto a supermoon, when our satellite reaches its largest apparentsize. (AGI).