RESULTS FROM THE 42nd “RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS” ECLIPSE CRUISE – ADVENTURE ABOARD SEA DREAM I IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN

by Paul D. Maley

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Gena Kolin and Mike Bain prepare to watch the eclipse. Howard Duncan photo.

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Group shot of most of the 110 eclipse guests and some of the crew. Photo by B. Hulse.

The series of 3 images below were taken by Dr. Pat Reiff as the Moon’s shadow overflew our ship.  The eclipse path was 44km wide at our location and so the edge of the Moon’s shadow is defined by the band of light surrounding the horizon.  Due to blockage by ship structure the entire horizon is not shown here.

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 ISO400, 1/50, 8mm f/4, Canon EOS 5D Mark III by P. Reiff

This TSE was partially successful. We had considerable clouds that invaded our targeted area but in spite of them we were able to view the inner corona, both diamond rings, Baily’s Beads, and the lunar shadow moving across the sky.  Shadow bands were not seen.

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The Sea Dream I was our chartered vessel.

The adventure began in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain on 27 October when our Eclipse 5k run took place in the vicinity of Hotel Taburiente. Four runners participated.  We summarize the eclipse day first and then provide a gallery of images from the phenomena seen and the ports visited.

Duncan_E5K

Eclipse 5K run. Photo by Howard Duncan. Left to right: Lynn Palmer, Howard Duncan, Joe Malnar, Paul Maley.

ECLIPSE DAY

I had been monitoring the weather models constantly and given the limitation of the ship’s speed (between 8 and 13 knots), there was little capability to maneuver with significant results to any destination within a short period of time. Therefore we proceeded to what was deemed to be the final eclipse position: 14 deg 06.13m N, 31 deg 50.39W at 11:42:00 UTC on 3 November 2013.

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I kept all observers informed of the weather forecast as it developed over the period.  Tour board photo by P. Maley.

The next diagram is the final cloud estimate.

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Clear sky is shown by the white area, while cloudy areas are shown by progressively darker blue colors.

The satellite image said it all.

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A special forecast tool was developed by Andrew Cool, originator of the Skippysky site.  We used this as the primary model but supplemented it with the weather diagrams (above) from passageweather.com.

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Targeted position is marked by the number 3 at the far left in pencil. Photo by P.Maley

 The partial phase occurred and Doug Hube was able to grab this shot.

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ISO400, 1/250 sec, 83mm focal length at f/4.2 with Panasonic DMC-FZ18

As we got closer to second contact, Leroy Maxfield captured this partial phase image.

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ISO100, 1/4000 sec, 400mm focal length at f/8, Canon EOS 60D.

The plan was to orient the bulk of the port viewing area and bow and stern to give all passengers and crew the best chance to view totality. This was done with the idea of minimizing wave disturbances given the sea state and wind conditions.   The plan called for moving northwest along the centerline, then veering east up to 1.8km before crossing the centerline. This maneuver was expected to take 6 minutes fro 1.8km east to reach the centerline, then another 6 minutes to continue to about 1.8km west.  The diagram below illustrates the orientation of the vessel with respect to the heading, the wind and the Sun.

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The next diagram shows the recorded track of the actual ship maneuver.  Sea Dream I crossed the centerline about 10 seconds late, but that made no difference in terms of what was seen.

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As the ship moved steadily northwestward, the high clouds thickened until the Sun was completely obscured. Tantalizingly northwest of us was a clear thin strip, too far to be reached in time and slightly off the centerline.  As totality approached the opaque high cloud thinned.

At 2nd contact Baily’s Beads were captured by a number of photographers. John Dubois and Leroy Maxfield’s images were deemed the clearest. The first two are from John.

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ISO1000, 1/2000 sec, 30mm focal length at f/4, Nikon D800 by J. Dubois.

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Leroy Maxfield photo. ISO100, 1/3200 sec, 400mm focal length at f/8, Canon EOS 60D

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Leroy Maxfield photo. ISO100, 1/3200 sec, 400mm focal length at f/8, Canon EOS 60D

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Leroy Maxfield photo. ISO100, 1/3200 sec, 400mm focal length at f/8, Canon EOS 60D

 It was remarkable that the Beads were seen by so many but it was virtually impossible to extract a decent corona photo. Prominences were not detectable.

A rather fuzzy image of totality was captured by John Dubois as follows.  This was about the best anyone could do under the opacity circumstances just as 3rd contact was about to take place.

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Totality through Clouds_brookshier

Totality through high cloud as photgraphed by Leticia Ferrer.  This was an IPad screen grab of a video frame.  

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Prediction of what the corona would look like. Credit: Dr. Pete Riley of Predictive Science, Inc (http://www.predsci.com)

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Totality as captured by Bob Hulse and rotated to match the prediction.

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Totality was determined by Jean Arcand as shown in the diagram above. The track of the ship relative to the centerline is also shown here. Courtesy J. Arcand.

Sea Dream (apologies to the Everly Brothers)…created by Khati Hendry

Sea Dream, Sea, Sea Dream,

Sea Dream, Sea, Sea Dream,

 

When I signed up to go to sea

With hopes I’d see—totality

I didn’t know I would find such luxury

On Sea Dream, Sea, Sea Dream.

 

Now there is not a sweeter spot

Your worries soon will be forgot

Just call it a yacht, for a cruise ship it is not

The Sea Dream, Sea, Sea Dream

Sea Dream.

 

Service is so fine, have a glass of wine

Any time, night or day.

It isn’t real life, but it’s nice

Once you have paid your way.

 

A pedicure, a facial masque,

The gym, the pool, perhaps a nap,

Whatever you want, you only have to ask

On Sea Dream, Sea, Sea Dream,

Sea Dream.

 

I don’t have to cook, I don’t have to clean,

This is my kind of bliss.

Only trouble is, gee whiz,

I–could—get–used to this!

 

So please accept the thanks we send,

The sad part is, it has to end.

If only I could, I’d do it all again

With Sea Dream, Sea, Sea Dream,

Sea Dream.

“All song lyricsare meant as satire and humor, and are not for commercial purposes”

totality_kilburg

Totality through cloud with a wider angle view by Sally Kilburg. ISO100, 1/60 sec, 10mm focal length at f/4 with Canon EOS Rebel T3.

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Amongst the array of hardware on deck, this clever IPhone holder was one of the more novel ideas. P. Maley photo.

 Third contact with Baily’s Beads was again picked up by John Dubois in the following series of images.

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dubois_beadsc36

Projection of the Sun during the partial phases was very difficult. I had Chef Ondrej prepare a special projection device for the crescents but since there was not enough Sun we used it the following day to prove that it would work. The test subject was one of the chef’s cookies.

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Solar projection test cookie. Photo by Lynn Palmer.

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Projection of the Sun onto a deck chair. P. Maley photo.

SATELLITE IMAGES OF TOTALITY FROM SPACE

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ECLIPSE SETUPS

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Aubrey Glazier. H. Duncan photo.

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Gene Torncello. H. Duncan photo.

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Tom Marsella.  H. Duncan photo.

 howard_whoisthis3

Michael Gill. H. Duncan photo.

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Crewmembers observing the partial phase. Mike Stephenson photo.

pm_gill_amanda_bengtMichael Gill, Amanda Lambert , Bengt Alfredsson. P. Maley photo.

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Newlyweds Tina Marie Greene-Bevingtona and John Bevington. P. Maley photo.

PM_WHOISIT3

Joe Malnar.  P. Maley photo.

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Sally Kilburg and Khati Hendry. P. Maley photo.

PM_WHOISTHIS

Janice Johnson taking copious eclipse notes; Bill and Tina Reiff in background.  P. Maley photo.

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Daniel Brookshier.  L. Ferrer photo.

nye_bartlett

Derald Nye and Janice Pennington. Photo by Katy Bartlett.

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Alan Cornier and Jean Arcand. Byron Braswell photo.

S1_partials_kilburgFrom top, Pat Reiff, Skip Farrow, Janice Johnson,  Peter Farrow.  S. Kilburg photo.

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Phill Edwards. S. Kilburg photo.

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Peter Farrow. Mitch Horowitz photo.

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Karen Hoffman and Les Pearce. P.Maley photo.

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Joe Cali. P.Maley photo.

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Linda and Jeff Pohlman. P. Maley photo.

 S1_pm_stefan_ursula_who

Stefan and Ursula Meyer and Tom Marsella. P. Maley photo.

AfterEclispeParty_stefan

After eclipse party featured free champagne. Ursula Meyer photo.

Ring of Fire (apologies to Johnny Cash)…created by Khati Hendry

See the sun’s corona shine,

That has been my heart’s desire,

Sea Dream trip sure sounded fine

So I signed up with the “Ring of Fire”.

 

On the Sea Dream with the Ring of Fire

We went down, down south as the moon went higher

Then then sun went dark, and what transpired

Was a Ring of Fire.

 

For a trans-Atlantic cruise

Drink in the Sahara first.

Dakhla and Nouadhibou

Will make you work up quite a thirst.

 

One more drink, whatever you desire,

It goes down, down, down and we all get higher.

It’s one tipsy ship that we have hired

With the Ring of Fire.

 

Days sail by and worries go.

On the Sea Dream life is sweet.

It might cost a lot of dough,

But we have enough to eat.

 

There’s food, food, food far more than we require,

But it goes down, down, down and our weight goes higher,

And it’s pounds, pounds, pounds that we acquire

With the Ring of Fire.

 

You might ask yourself just when

This damn song will ever end.

You can help us out my friend.

Join the chorus once again.

 

On the Sea Dream with the Ring of Fire

We went down, down south as the moon rose higher

And the sun went dark, and what transpired

Was a Ring of Fire.

“All song lyricsare meant as satire and humor, and are not for commercial purposes”

SCIENCE DURING THE ECLIPSE

John Dubois monitored the US Navy station NAA in a 24kHz region of the radio spectrum in attempt to monitor changes in the received signal caused by the eclipse process.

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Very low frequency signal plot prior to the eclipse and during the eclipse.  From J. Dubois.

The graph shows uncalibrated RMS power in an 8 kHz bandwidth centered on 24 kHz as received by a 1 meter square loop antenna with 60 turns #36 wire. The signal source is U.S. Navy station NAA in Cutler ME, approximately 5100 km from the receiving point on board the ship SeaDream I. Data collection begins at 09:30 UTC on 2 November 2013 and ends at 15:20 UTC on 3 November. The x axis “system time” is UTC.

There are intervals of severe interference from approximately 11:40 to 14:00 UTC on 2 November and again around 15:15 UTC and 20:30 to 21:20 UTC. The feature from 7:35 to 8:20 UTC on 3 November is a sunrise signature. Partial eclipse at the extreme western end of the transmission path began at approximately 10:00 UTC and ends (4th contact) about 14:20 UTC at the receiving point. A gradual decline in RMS received power is seen on the graph around 10:00 UTC, dipping to a minimum about 11:30 and returning to baseline near the time of 4th contact. The general agreement of this received power “feature” with eclipse timing suggests a correlation, but further analysis is required. A complete report will be published in the Journal of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers.

Work of a similar nature can be seen at http://misan.home.xs4all.nl/eclipse.htm where data was recorded in Europe for the total solar eclipse of August 11, 1999.

 TALKS ON BOARD

ann_burgess1

 Ann Burgess, naturalist

bob_hulse2

Bob Hulse, photographer

byron_paul

 Paul Maley, expedition leader

PatReiff

Pat Reiff, Space Physicist. Ursula Meyer photo.

 john_dubois2

John Dubois, engineer

joe_cali1

Joe Cali, school laboratory manager

peter_farrow2

Peter Farrow, engineer (semi-retired)

phill_edwards2

Phill Edwards, computer trainer and consultant

leticia_ferrer

Leticia Ferrer, project manager

carlton_lane1

Carlton Lane, theoretical physicist

tim_collins2

Tim Collins,  engineer

richard_westwood

 Richard Westwood, Volunteer presenter and tour guide.

PaulStewart_GTorncello

Paul Stewart, IT Systems Manager

AROUND THE SHIP

 

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Balinese beds. Photo by K. Bartlett.

bed_decoration_sterkensTowel animal. J. Sterkens photo.

vanandel_halloween

Bob Van Andel photo.

carlton_running_horowitz

Carlton Lane running on deck. Mitch Horowitz photo.

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Captain Smorawski. Photo by B. Braswell

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Evelyn Cox and Pablo. Pat Reiff photo.

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Cooking demo. R. Westwood photo.

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Captain Smorawski and Paul Maley. Simone Werrett photo.

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The Sea Dream next to a giant Royal Caribbean ship. Sea Dream photo.

 VENUS IN THE DAYTIME

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Venus the day after the eclipse. Ursula Meyer photo. ISO100, 1/500 sec, 200mm focal length at f/7.1, Canon EOS 450D.

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Observing Venus on deck in the daytime with Joe Malnar, Ursula Meyer and Stefan Meyer. P.Maley photo.

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Venus taken by LeRoy Maxfield.  ISO2500, 1/6400 sec, 130mm focal length at f/6.3, Canon EOS 60D.

 

GREEN FLASH GALLERY

 

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Sunspots against the setting Sun. LeRoy Maxfield photo. ISO200, 1/2000 sec, 400mm focal length at f/14, Canon EOS 60D.

We had some amazing sunset captures of the green flash on three different nights. The following is a sample of these images.

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Above 6 images form a sequence taken by Karen Hoffman.  ISO800, 1/5000 sec, 400mm focal length at f/6.3, Canon EOS 5D Mark III. November 5, 2013.

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Green rim as photographed by Bob Hulse November 6, 2013. ISO400, 1/1250sec, 400mm focal length at f/16, Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

greenrim_umeyer

The ‘green rim’ by Ursula Meyer.  ISO200, 1/1600 sec, 300mm focal length at f/14, Canon EOS 450D. November 7, 2013.

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B. Siegal photo. ISO400, 1/320 sec, 400mm focal length at f/11, Nikon D800E. November 7, 2013. GF_dubois

Green flash sequence from J. Dubois.   ISO 1000, 1/2000 sec, f/4, 300mm, Nikon D800. November 7, 2013.

 GF_hulse_nov7

Green flash from Bob Hulse.  ISO100, 1/2500 sec, 500mm focal length at f/6.3, Canon EOS 5D Mark III. November 7, 2013.

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Green flash by B. Siegel. ISO400, 1/320 sec, 400mm focal length at f/11, Nikon D800E November 7, 2013.

GF_hoffman1107_01 (1)a  GF_hoffman1107_02a

Green flash pair by K. Hoffman November 7, 2013.

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November 7 image from Byron Braswell. ISO1600, 1/4000 sec, 108mm at f/8, Panasonic DMC-FZ200.

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GF_hoffman1108_01 (3)a

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 GF_hoffman1108_01 (5)a

Green flash sequence from K. Hoffman November 8, 2013.

 Compare Hoffman’s images with those below. They are magnified but not retouched.

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Above 4 images from LeRoy Maxfield. ISO800, 1/6400 sec, 400mm focal length at f/9, Canon EOS 60D, November 8, 2013.

PORTS OF CALL

1. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

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Tim Collins photo.

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Tim Collins photo.

tcollins3

Tim Collins photo.

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Tim Collins photo.

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Teide Observatory. LeRoy Maxfield photo.

 

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J.Dubois photo.

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J.Dubois photo.

dubois2

J. Dubois photo.

dubois3

J. Dubois photo.

dubois4

J. Dubois photo.

dubois6

J. Dubois photo.

dubois7

J. Dubois photo.

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J. Dubois photo.

dubois10

J. Dubois photo.

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J. Dubois photo.

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J.Dubois photo.

2. Dakhla, Western Sahara

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Photo by B. Hulse.

bsiegal_dahkla

Photo by B. Siegel.

bsiegal_dahklacaravan

B. Siegel photo.

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White dune. Photo by Bob Hulse.

byron_birds

B.Braswell photo.

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J. Dubois photo with Katy Bartlett in lower left jogging.

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J.Dubois photo.

3. Nouadhibou, Mauritania

bwoodward_nouad

 

B.Woodward photo.

bsiegal_tilt

B. Siegel photo.

Bedouin Tent_pearce

Photo by Les Pearce.

Camel_pearce

L. Pearce photo.

dubois_landscape

J.Dubois photo.

dubois22

J. Dubois photo.

tcollins5

Tim Collins photo.

tcollins6

Tim Collins photo.

 vanandel_nou_police

Bob Van Andel photo.

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J.Dubois photo.

vanandel_nou_ships

Bob Van Andel photo.

4. Fogo, Cape Verde Islands

fogo_simonethomas

Simone Werrett photo.

fogo_sterkens

Juliette Sterkens photo.

fogoCaldera_westwood

R.Westwood photo.

fogowoman_hoffman

K. Hoffman photo.

 

bhulse_fogo_iss

Photo by B. Hulse featuring Venus and the track of the International Space Station.

Bird cabo verde_rwestwood

Photo by R. Westwood

bhulse_fogo_stars

Photo by B. Hulse.

bhulse_volcano_bandw

Photo by B. Hulse.

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J.Dubois photo.

 NATURE PHOTOS

Rainbow full_byron

Rainbow off the starboard side. Byron Braswell photo.

 

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Don Hartry photo

hartry_parachutingspider

Don Hartry photo.

horowitz_sootytern

Mitch Horowitz photo.

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Doug Hube photo.

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LeRoy Maxfield photo.

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LeRoy Maxfield photo.

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LeRoy Maxfield photo.

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LeRoy Maxfield photo.

 maxfield_ff1

LeRoy Maxfield photo.

Wish you had taken a solar eclipse cruise? Take a look at this upcoming 2016 Solar Eclipse Cruise!

Ring of Fire Expeditions (ROFE) is the longest consecutive astronomical tour organization in the United States. ROFE specializes in astro-tourism since 1970 with expeditions organized and led by Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society and arranged by Future Travel in Houston, Texas USA. These include tours to observe such events as Halley’s Comet, the Leonid meteor shower, transit of Venus, spacecraft reentries, solar eclipses, grazing occultations, and occultation’s of stars by minor planets.
We are a public outreach effort of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society led by amateur astronomers and welcome all persons who are interested in astronomy and the natural sciences. You do not need to have a science background or any prior experience to join us! Contact us to set up your perfect astronomical tour and/or cruise today!

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