International Year of Astronomy 2009
UNESCO International Astronomical Union      


Príncipe is the smaller of the two islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, extinct volcanos on the equator off the west coast of Africa. It happened to lie in the path of a total solar elipse in 1919, and so became the site of one of the most important scientific experiments of the 20th century.

The total population is around 5,000 and the official language is Portuguese. The airport is connected to the main town, Santo António, and surrounding villages by 12 km of paved roads. Much of the 136 km² island is covered in dense rainforest. The landscape rises in the south to 948 metres at Pico de Príncipe, in a thickly forested area forming part of the Obo National Park.

It is a virtually undiscovered tropical paradise in the Atlantic ocean. The first beginnings of modern tourism are reflected in developments like the beautiful Bom Bom Island Resort on the island's northern shore.

The central and southern peaks are not conducive to astronomy... ...but the coast is beautiful. Eddington went on a boating picnic in this bay around Santo Antonio.
Eddington played tennis on this court in Santo Antonio, the island's main town. Bom Bom island is shown is reached by a wooden bridge

More information is available from wikipedia, the STP tourist board and hotel directorate, or the Yahoo STP group, including an article about our 2008 recce trip.

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