Nov 18, 2002

-- Total solar eclipse on December 4 --
-- LIVE! UNIVERSE webcasts the total solar eclipse from Africa and Australia
-- Primary schools in Machida City and Mitaka City will conduct distance learning
LIVE! ECLIPSE 2002 project web page will open on November 20


Non-profit organization LIVE! UNIVERSE (Koto Ward, Tokyo. Chairman is Masami Okyudo), which relays astronomical phenomena via various networks, will broadcast the total solar eclipse via the internet from Africa and Australia on December 4.

Total solar eclipse is the phenomena that the sun is completely hidden behind the moon. When the sun is completely hidden behind the moon, pearl-colored "corona" spread around the sun, and fantastic "Diamond Ring" can be seen just before and after the total solar eclipse. In this year, the total solar eclipse will occur over Africa and Australia on December 4. The path of totality passes from Africa (Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa), crosses Indian Ocean, reaches Ceduna in South Australia, then the sun sets.

LIVE! UNIVERSE will webcast the images of the eclipse from two continents, Chobe in Botswana and Ceduna in South Australia.

The total solar eclipse will occur at 3:09 p.m. (JST) in Chobe and at 6:10 p.m. (JST) in Ceduna. The highlight is that the sun sets just after the total solar eclipse in Ceduna. The eclipse time in observation points are as follows:

<Chobe, Africa>
JST GMT Local Time
First Contact (Eclipse begins)14:06:03 5:06:03 7:06:03
Second Contact (Total eclipse begins) 15:09:24 6:09:24 8:09:24
Third Contact (Total eclipse ends) 15:10:3 6:10:36 8:10:36
Last Contact (Eclipse ends) 16:22:43 7:22:43 9:22:43

<Ceduna, Australia>
JST GMT Local Time
First Contact (Eclipse begins) 17:10:15 8:10:16 18:40:15
Second Contact (Total eclipse begins) 18:10:11 9:10:11 19:40:11
Third Contact (Total eclipse ends) 18:10:42 9:10:42 19:40:42
Sunset 19:00:54 10:00:54 20:30:54

The webcast can be seen in http://www.live-eclipse.org/. The web page of LIVE! ECLIPSE 2002 project will open on November 20. The webcast will start from 2 o'clock and ends at 7 o'clock (JST) on December 4. The web page will be provided in Japanese and English, transmitting the information to the world.

This total solar eclipse will be used in distance learning based on this Internet webcast. At Narusedai Primary School (Machida City) and Osawadai Primary School (Mitaka City), this webcast will be used in "Period for Integrated Study" which utilizes the Internet and "Science" classes of 4th to 6th grade students, aiming to establish practical lessons that draw interests in science. In these classes, Africa or Australia where the solar eclipse is actually observed and classes in Japan are connected via the Internet. For the communication, Chorus Line (conference call system) and TV conference system will be used.

Professor Noritsugu Takahashi, the adviser of LIVE! UNIVERSE who planned this distance learning made the following remark.
"Though the total solar eclipse is one of the most magnificent phenomena in nature, it can be observed only in limited areas and difficult to be use in school classes. I believe that it will evoke the intellectual interest from children, inspiring the inquiring mind and motivation for learning to see the beautiful images on the Internet in real time."

The webcast system collects the images from observation points to the operation center Mesci (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), then transmit them via the Internet. The images are sent to Japan via INMARSAT (International Maritime Satellite Organization) from Africa, and via the mobile unit of satellite link for television from Australia, with the support of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is going to promote this total solar eclipse project in the web page "Mitsubishi Electric Corporation BB Science Site DSPACE" (http://www.dspace.mitsubishielectric.co.jp/).

Including the webcast by the predecessor LIVE! ECLIPSE Executive Committee, this is the 9th webcast of the solar eclipse (5th webcast of a total solar eclipse), and the third trial of distance learning linked with the live webcast.

***** About LIVE! UNIVERSE
LIVE! UNIVERSE is the integrated organization of two volunteer groups LIVE! ECLIPSE and LIVE! LEONIDS Executive Committees, that have broadcasted astronomical phenomena such as solar eclipse and Leonids, via the Internet from all over the world since 1997. To function as a regular organization with membership and funds, and to provide stable network distribution, LIVE! UNIVERSE was established as a non-profit organization in May, 2002. The activities so far were used by researchers to collect information and presented in several academic theses of information processing societies and educational system information societies, etc. LIVE! UNIVERSE aims to enhance the organization and contribute to society in education and researches by approaching new projects of space science, such as the launch of rockets, not only the astronomical phenomena. Chairman is Masami Okyudo, Director of Misato Observatory.


©2002 LIVE! UNIVERSE office:info@live-universe.org