In 2026, 2027 and 2028 three historic eclipses will be happening across Spain. The solar eclipse of 2026 known as the Grand Spanish Eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse to occur over the Iberian peninsula in nearly 120 years. That is to say that there is no living memory of a total solar eclipse at the destination.
Early planning is crucial to promote eclipse chasing and prepare the local community to host such a great memorable event. Definitely raising public awareness about the upcoming events helps the organizers to engage local communities and take advantage of their potential along the eclipse festivals.
In order to provide a better outreach, Eclipse26278 in collaboration with the Starlight Foundation and the International Astronomy Union organized a 16 hour online eclipse ambassador course for the monitors and Starlight guides in may and June 2022 during four consecutive weeks.
The Starlight Foundation follows the protection of the night sky, the cultural diffusion of astronomy and the promotion of astrotourism. This organization has developed a wide range of activities around the world and has registered a large number of Starlight destinations, accommodations and resservs throughout Spain.
In addition, Starlight monitors and guides with their wide geographical coverage throughout the country promote astrotourism and bring astronomy to the people.
The Starlight Foundation follows the protection of the Night Sky, cultural dissemination of astronomy and promotion of astrotourism. This organization has developed a wide range of activities all around the world and has registered a big number of Starlight destinations, accommodations and reserves all around Spain.
Moreover, the Starlight monitors and guides with their vast geographic coverage throughout the country promote astrotourism and bring astronomy among people.
Considering such great potential in Spain as the host country to observe the upcoming eclipse festivals, organizers held the eclipse ambassador course for the Starlight monitors and guides in order to train representatives of the eclipse family in Spain and cover diverse eclipse related activities before, during and even after the eclipse years.
The speakers of the course were among the well-known eclipse chasers, scientists and activists who presented key information on different aspects of solar eclipse and holding the eclipse festivals:
The eclipse ambassador course was aiming at:
- Providing adequate information on different aspects of the eclipse festival
- Creating a working group among the starlight monitors to coordinate the activities before and during the eclipse festival
- Transmitting the key messages of the eclipse festival to public
- Encouraging local authorities to collaborate in the project
- Organizing divers promotional eclipse related events and enhance outreach at the starlight destinations
- Promoting astrotourism at starlight destinations through the eclipse festival internationally
- Extending the benefits obtained over time through the early planning
On the other hand, this course provided an opportunity to share experiences among the participants and find sustainable solutions to prepare the local community to host the solar eclipse festival with its innumerable audioance.
More than 80 eclipse ambassadors were trained through this course and they learned new tools and techniques for explaining eclipses and engaging with the public. The first generation of the eclipse ambassadors will soon form the solar eclipse working group in Spain to plan for the upcoming events and accomplish the necessary actions.