July 12, 2000
A network of astronomers in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia have teamed up to broadcast live images of Sunday’s eclipse onto the Internet for the benefit of the "geographically challenged", people living in areas on the planet that won’t be able to see the eclipse.
Starting on Sunday at 1157 GMT (4:57am PDT) the diverse team of professional and amateur astronomers will begin transferring images and video streams of the lunar eclipse to a network of websites hosting the event. The eclipse coverage will wrap up at 1553 GMT (10:57am PDT) when the moon exits the Earth’s shadow. A link to each of the cameras as well as ongoing weather monitoring of each station will be available at Universe Today.
Universe Today publisher, Fraser Cain explains why he coordinated the effort: "I live in Vancouver, Canada, so I’ll only see the end of the eclipse. I contacted several of my Australian and New Zealand astronomy friends online and asked them if they’d broadcast the eclipse so I could watch it through the Internet."
Sunday’s eclipse is very special, because the moon dives right through the very center of the Earth’s shadow - to within seconds of the theoretical maximum duration. Totality - when the moon is completely dark - lasts for an incredible 1 hour and 47 minutes. A total eclipse hasn't lasted this long since 1859 and it will not again for over a thousand years!
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's shadow, it then changes color to anything from a deep red to a bright copper, depending on the amount of haze in the atmosphere. The best way to see a lunar eclipse is to stand away from streetlights and use a pair of binoculars. Unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is completely safe to watch with the naked eye - no protective glasses needed.
Event sponsor Astronomy.com has organized a contest for the eclipse coverage, where visitors can win a variety of astronomy equipment, including telescopes, binoculars, and cameras. The contest includes prizes by Astronomy Magazine, Meade Instruments, Hardin Optical, Starsafaris, Berger Bros. Camera, American Science and Surplus, Discovery Telescopes, Science Art Co., Surplus Shed, Observation Concepts, Earth Treasures, Le Sueur Mfg., Optical Guidance Systems, Solarsense, Spherical Concepts, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Starlight Xpress, T-Quest Optical, Apogee CCD Cameras, ExploreSpace.com, Pocono Mountain Optics, and Night and Day.
To watch the eclipse as it happens, or to see the images afterwards, visit Universe Today.
Partial eclipse begins: 11:57 GMT (04:57am PDT) Total Eclipse Begins: 13:02 GMT (06:02am PDT) Mid-Eclipse: 13:56 GMT (06:56am PDT) Total Eclipse Ends: 14:49 GMT (07:49am PDT) Partial Eclipse Ends: 15:54 GMT (08:54am PDT)
Complete List of Camera Operators:
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Sydney, Australia Astronomical Society of Victoria - Melbourne, Australia Astronomical Society of Flinders University - Adelaide, Australia Calwell Lunar Observatory - Canberra, Australia Auckland Observatory/Stardome - Auckland, New Zealand City of Dunedin - Dunedin, New Zealand AstroArts - Tokyo, Japan Stargaze - Saitama, Japan LIVE!ECLIPSE - Okinawa, Hokkaido, Alice Springs the @stropages.com - San Diego, CA
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet, Updated Every Weekday.
July 12, 2000 - Issue #271
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