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About us 2017-07-08T15:47:57+00:00

Welcome to Ring of Fire Expeditions

 

Ring of Fire Expeditions

“The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas” a lyric from the song of the same name sung by  Gene Autrey in Heart of the Rio Grande (1942)

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 occultations of stars by minor planets.

Paul D. Maley checking out a potential eclipse viewing site in Cary, North Carolina 2017.

The number of eclipse tours listed that we have completed are for separate solar eclipses, not just individual programs. 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!

Some expeditions have challenges which we do our best to work around. For example, the photo below shows a military escort for our team in Turkey in 1999.

Ring of Fire Expeditions

Our ROFE security team at Batman, Turkey for the 1999 total solar eclipse

We do our best to witness the power and glory of a solar eclipse,

Ring of Fire Expeditions

a spectacular comet,

Ring of Fire Expeditions

                                             Comet Hale-Bopp. P. Maley photo.

meteor shower,

Ring of Fire Expeditions

Leonid Meteor fireballs at Beijing Astronomical Observatory 1999. P. Maley photo.

or erupting volcano.

Ring of Fire Expeditions

                                         Mt. Etna in eruption. Photo by P. Maley 2001

Solar eclipse expeditions of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society  in Houston, Texas began in 1970 when Paul D. Maley traveled to the total solar eclipse in Valdosta, Georgia. As an initiative to expand public outreach of the Society, Paul continued organizing expeditions off and on during the 1970s whose purpose expanded in 1983 to including science goals of what is now the International Occultation Timing Association. In 1990 the name RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS was adopted. Expeditions have now included such diverse scientific phenomena as earth satellite reentries, occultations of stars by asteroids, Halley’s Comet, eclipses of the moon and more.  More than 1000 people have participated in ROFE expeditions through 2010 from around the USA and many countries.

While most RING OF FIRE total solar eclipse expeditions travel to the center line to obtain maximum totality, we sometimes have a small secondary expedition to observe near the edge of the path of totality. We also observe annular eclipses and will observe either from the edge where Baily’s Beads phenomena are wonderfully prevelant, or the center line. We strive to keep the group sizes reasonable; sometimes the overall demand exceeds our expectations. For our larger expeditions we conduct a site survey (when possible) in order to obtain the best possible observing locations, with tour group safety as our primary concern.  Future Travel (formerly Hanssen Future Travel) has handled all expeditions since 1977.

SOLAR ECLIPSES I HAVE SEEN

           Paul Maley in Spitzbergen for the 2015 total solar eclipse. L. Strike photo.

The following is list of all the solar eclipses I have attempted.  The formal Ring of Fire Expeditions number is listed in the column to the right. At the urging of colleagues I am now including partial eclipses which I do not count in my list of historical expeditions.  Many annular and total eclipses were observed from the edge where Baily’s Beads science was attempted.   The ‘eclipse type’ below is the resultant eclipse where I attempted observation. For example, if the eclipse was total and I was not able to get to the zone of totality, I attempted observation as close as I could get to the location of totality. In that case I would list it as partial.  This was especially difficult in my early years where I was not able to afford travel. The location is the name of the closest town, named village. The NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society eclipse team is represented by the Texas flag. If you see this flag at an eclipse, it is probably RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS.

Ring of Fire Expeditions

NUMBERDATEECLIPSE TYPELOCATION OBSERVEDROFE#
19/20/60PARTIALLOS ANGELES, CA USA
27/20/63PARTIALSAN ANTONIO, TX USA
35/9/67PARTIALEDINBURG, TX USA
49/11/69PARTIALHOUSTON, TX USA
53/7/70TOTALVALDOSTA, GA USA1
62/25/71PARTIALPARIS, FRANCE
77/10/72TOTALCAP CHAT, QUEBEC, CANADA2
812/24/73ANNULARACAPULCO, MEXICO3
912/13/74PARTIALHOUSTON, TX USA
105/11/75PARTIALATHENS, GREECE
1110/12/77TOTALLAKE GUATAVITA, COLOMBIA4
122/26/79TOTALLAKE WINNIPEG, CANADA5
132/16/80TOTALKENYA6
148/10/80PARTIALHOUSTON, TX USA
157/20/82PARTIALLONDON, UK
166/11/83TOTALBANGIL, JAVA, INDONESIA7
175/30/84TOTAL-ANNULARATLANTA, GA USA8
1811/22/84TOTALKWIKILA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA9
195/19/85PARTIALANCHORAGE, AK USA
2010/3/86PARTIALHOUSTON, TX USA
213/29/87TOTAL-ANNULARLIBREVILLE, GABON10
229/23/87ANNULARTAIYUAN, CHINA11
233/7/89PARTIALSCOTTSDALE, AZ USA
247/22/90PARTIALHONOLULU, HI USA
251/15/91ANNULARNORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND12
267/11/91TOTALSANTIAGO IXCUINTLA, MEXICO13
271/4/92ANNULAROTTA ISLAND, TRUK14
285/21/93PARTIALPHOENIX, AZ USA
295/10/94ANNULARLENEXA, KS USA15
3011/3/94TOTALTACNA, PERU16
314/29/95ANNULARPUINAHUA, PERU17
3210/24/95TOTALPINAHAT, INDIA18
3310/12/96PARTIALLONDON, UK
343/9/97TOTALDARHAN, MONGOLIA19
352/26/98TOTALWESTPUNKT, CURACAO20
368/22/98ANNULARJOHORE BARU, MALAYSIA21
372/16/99ANNULARPERTH, AUSTRALIA22
388/11/99TOTALBATMAN, TURKEY23
397/31/00PARTIALANCHORAGE, AK USA
4012/25/00PARTIALHOUSTON, TX USA
416/21/01TOTALLUSAKA, ZAMBIA24
4212/14/01ANNULARPUNTA ARENAS, COSTA RICA25
436/10/02ANNULARTINIAN, MARIANAS ISLANDS26
4412/4/02TOTALCHIBUTO, MOZAMBIQUE27
455/31/03ANNULAROLAFSFJORDUR, ICELAND28
4611/23/03TOTALANTARCTICA29
4710/14/04PARTIALANCHORAGE, AK
484/8/05ANNULARPENONEME, PANAMA30
4910/3/05ANNULARALGIERS, ALGERIA31
503/29/06TOTALJALU, LIBYA32
519/22/06ANNULARKOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA33
523/19/07PARTIALBETHEL, AK
538/1/08TOTALDUNHUANG, CHINA34
541/26/09ANNULARKEELING ISLANDS35
557/22/09TOTALWUHAN, CHINA36
561/15/10ANNULARGULU, UGANDA37
577/11/10TOTALHIKUERU, FRENCH POLYNESIA38
581/4/11PARTIALLONDON, UK
596/1/11PARTIALLONDON, UK
605/21/12ANNULARTOKYO, JAPAN
(& SPRINGDALE, UTAH)
39
6111/14/12TOTALMOUNT CARBINE, AUSTRALIA40
625/10/13ANNULARTARAWA, KIRIBATI41
6311/3/13TOTALATLANTIC OCEAN42
6410/23/14PARTIALCHURCHILL, CANADA
653/20/15TOTALSVALBARD, NORWAY43
663/9/16TOTALPACIFIC OCEAN, MICRONESIA44
679/1/16ANNULARIYAI, TANZANIA45
682/26/17ANNULARVILLA SIMPSON, CHILE46
698/21/17TOTALGRAND ISLAND, NEBRASKA, USA47

 

FUTURE ADVENTURES WITH “RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS”

Please join us on another eclipse tour by monitoring this web site.  The following eclipses are on our event horizon.

TypeDateRegion of Visibility
Total2-Jul-2019S. America/S.Pacific
Annular/Total26-Dec-2019India/S.E.Asia
Annular21-Jun-2020Africa/Mideast/Asia
Total14-Dec-2020S.America
Annular10-Jun-2021Canada/Greenland
Total4-Dec-2021Antarctica
Annular/Total20-Apr-2023S.E.Asia
Annular14-Oct-2023N.America/S.America
Total8-Apr-2024USA/Mexico

We just arbitrarily stopped here, but we are planning beyond 2024!

 

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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!