THE ULTIMATE ECLIPSE TRIP
MEXICO ECLIPSE TRIP - 2024
On this exciting trip we plan to explore the ancient Mayan sites in the Yucatan, and then journey to the gastronomical capital of Oaxaca. Afterwards we travel to Mazatlán which is our base for the eclipse. Eddie Frank will be scouting for a private eclipse site for us, in the hills not far from Mazatlán, located exactly on the center line of the eclipse shadow. During the trip Dr. Laurance Doyle, SETI Institute and NASA Kepler Astrophysicist, will edify us about the advanced understanding of astronomy that the Mayans developed. He will teach us how they used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to track the complex movements of the sun, planets and stars, and recorded this data in their chronicles 3,000 years ago.
March 31 - April 9, 2024
April 9 - April 12, 2024
Viewing a solar eclipse in full totality, where the entire sun is blocked out turning day into night, is an event so rare that relatively few have seen one in their lifetime, if at all. This is because totality is only viewable in a relatively narrow band of land. Unless you are at precisely the right place, at precisely the right time, you won't see the event in all its glory. Eddie Frank, Tusker Trail founding guide, has partnered with SETI Institute and NASA Kepler Astrophysicist Dr. Laurance Doyle to create trips to private remote locations around the globe to view these rare and wonderous events. They have created unique trips that are both full of adventure, discovery and learning. The trips combine an educational celestial workshop and Tusker's world class adventure trek experience into a truly unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. You don't want to miss this.
On April 8, 2024, all living creatures in North America will encounter a mind-blowing celestial experience - a total solar eclipse. After Mexico, the shadow travels up through the U.S and reaches the Atlantic Coast of Canada. The April 2024 eclipse will be the first to pass through Mexico since 1991 and the last until 2052. The Mayans in Mexico were able to predict solar eclipses hundreds of years into the future – without a computer, of course!
DR. LAURANCE DOYLE
SETI INSTITUTE AND NASA KEPLER ASTROPHYSICIST
Dr. Doyle worked as an engineer with the Voyager spacecrafts at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Since 1987 he has been a Principal Investigator with the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California where his main projects have been the photometric detection of extra solarplanets, and the application of information theory to animal communications. He was a Member of the NASA Kepler Mission Science Team with responsibility for detection of extrasolar planets around double star systems and made the first direct detection of a circumbinary planet, Kepler-16b.
He is former Director of the Institute for the Metaphysics of Physics at Principia College, and is currently working with colleagues to start a new field - quantum astronomy. Doyle is currently Principal Investigator of the Humpback Whale/SETI Project funded by the Templeton Foundation.
Dr. Laurance Doyle, SETI Institute and NASA Kepler Astrophysicist
A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
Ask anyone who has stood in the shadow of the eclipse will try and explain to you what a lifechanging experience a total solar eclipse is. Ask them why, and they’ll say, “I don’t really know, but the feeling that comes over you is unbelievable.” A solar eclipse is an astronomical event that effects the whole world, however most people on earth must wait for an eclipse to pass over them. Many people have never had the total eclipse experience. Tusker’s founding guide, Eddie Frank and Dr. Laurance Doyle have been teaming up since 1983 and providing exciting astronomical experiences for celestial adventurers.
TUSKER TRAIL'S HISTORY IN ASTRONOMY
Tusker Trail started running adventurous astronomy expeditions and trips back in the early 1980’s. Eddie Frank, Tusker Trail’s founding guide first met Dr. Laurance Doyle, a SETI Institute and NASA Kepler Astrophysicist, at his 28th birthday party in 1981. At the time, Doyle was working on the Voyager spacecrafts’ Space Image Processing Team at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He took Eddie on a tour of JPL during the flight of Voyager II through the rings of Saturn, a billion miles away. It was a stellar experience for Eddie. They decided then and there to combine their expertise - Eddie’s as a terrestrial bush guide - below the tree canopy, and Laurance’s as a celestial guide - above the tree canopy. They started planning their first astronomy trip in Africa. Since then, they have been running astronomy and solar eclipse trips throughout the world.
ASTRONOMY RESEARCH TRIP
1983 – NAMORATUNGA
Eddie and Laurance led their first astronomy expedition to NAMORATUNGA in north Kenya, a remote site with a 2,300-year history. They discovered that a now-extinct pastoralist people had created an accurate lunar calendar by placing large basalt stone pillars at precise positions in the ground using them to track the movement of the moon in conjunction with specific stars and constellations in the northeastern sky.
The NAMORATUNGA site consists of 19 pillars. The technique that Doyle and Frank used was to project the precession of the earth’s axis back in time, and by doing so were able to emulate the 7 star alignments that the now extinct Borana people made around 300 BC, thus creating an accurate lunar calendar.
ASTRONOMY RESEARCH TRIP
1989 - GREAT ZIMBABWE RUINS
Eddie Frank and Laurance Doyle made some fascinating astronomical discoveries at the ancient site located in central Zimbabwe, dating back to 400 A.D. At three different locations around the complex, they discovered that the creators of the complex had built significant markers for observing and/or predicting the summer solstice.
Frank and Doyle’s collaboration led to a lifelong partnership exploring the skies from various vantage points all over our planet. Since their early astronomy expeditions in 1983 and 1989 Doyle and Frank have been a formidable celestial adventuring team.
DR. LAURANCE TALKS...
"Eclipses have been recorded for thousands of years. It is very likely that this sudden darkening of the Sun by the Moon in the middle of the day could have driven the whole discovery of science by humanity. As you stand in the shadow a total solar eclipse, you are drawn is drawn into a bonding with fellow eclipse viewerrs that is older than civilization. Even the most scientific among us are drawn into to a sense of awe and wonder, and a feeling of participation in the universe!"
A HISTORY OF TUSKER'S ECLIPSE TRIPS
We're in the process of scouting our amazing 2024 Solar Eclipse trip in Mexico. Our plan is to explore the ancient Mayan sites in the Yucatan, with Dr. Laurance Doyle teaching us about the ancient Mayans’ advanced understanding of astronomy. We’ll explore Oaxaca then head for our private eclipse site near Mazatlán.
PATAGONIA ECLIPSE - 2020
Location: Patagonia ~ Cancelled due to Covid
We plotted a breath-taking trip to the wonderous hills of Patagonia. Unfortunately, due to the global Covid crisis, we were forced to cancel the trip because of the danger and the closure of country borders. Join our next Eclipse Trip in Mexico, April 8th, 2024, as we explore ancient Mayan eclipses as well as the current one that will engulf us in its shadow.
AUSTRALIA ECLIPSE - 2012
Location: Kuranda ~ Totality: 2m 04.7s
Thirty adventurers accompanied Dr. Laurance Doyle to Northeast Australia, not far from the Great Barrier Reef. The eclipse started just after sunrise and was the first total solar eclipse there in ten years.
Clouds and rain covered the area and the eclipsers feared the worst, but the clouds cleared mostly, and they were treated to 45 seconds of lunar-solar magic.
MONGOLIA ECLIPSE - 2008
Location: Lake Tugurik ~ Totality: 1m 57.4s
In August 2008, Tusker led 47 adventurers to the remote far west border of Mongolia to experience the magical total Solar Eclipse amongst the local nomadic people.
The path of totality began in northern Canada where the moon’s shadow first touched the earth, then for two hours it moved across the Arctic, central Russia, till it passed over the Tusker group, camped in Mongolia’s Altai Mountains.
GHANA ECLIPSE - 2006
Location: Ho ~ Totality: 3m 32.6s
Two years prior to the eclipse in West Africa, Eddie Frank went on an extended scouting expedition into the remote bush of Togo and Ghana.
Two years later, Eddie and Amy Frank found themselves guiding another one of Tusker Trail’s famed eclipse trips with 14 adventurers in Eastern Ghana, where they accidentally bumped into the president of Ghana at a captivating funeral ceremony, with traditional dancers and drummers.
AUSTRALIA ECLIPSE - 2002
Location: Ceduna ~ Totality: 32.5s
In December, Tusker Trail took a group of hearty travelers to the south coast of Australia.
Doyle and Frank discovered an effect they called the “Emerald Tiara,” which resembles an emerald-colored halo around the Moon as it crosses the Sun. This is an atmospheric refraction phenomenon especially visible during eclipses that occur very near the horizon.
ZAMBIA ECLIPSE - 2001
Location: Kafue National Park ~ Totality: 3m 43.1s
Tusker Trail ran its first Solar Eclipse trip with Dr. Laurence Doyle in Zambia. It occurred on June 21 and was the first solar eclipse of the 21st century. The group experienced almost four minutes of totality on a remote hilltop in Zambia’s Kafue National Park.
A year before the eclipse Eddie and his team were scouting the area deep in the Zambian bush. They were attacked by poachers who started vast bush fires to burn them out. In his 4-wheel drive Eddie raced through the flames and the team escaped but unharmed.