November 27, 2002

LIVE! UNIVERSE conducts the largest scale webcast of the total solar eclipse via video transmission networks on December 4th
--Corporation with many providers. Also appears on the street TV screen


Non-profit organization LIVE! UNIVERSE (Koto Ward, Tokyo. Chairman is Masami Okyudo), which relays astronomical phenomena via various networks, will webcast the total solar eclipse from Africa and Australia on December 4th via the Internet based on video transmission networks, as the LIVE! ECLIPSE 2002 project. With the support from many providers, this will be the largest Internet webcast event in Japan.

The webcast will start from 2 o'clock and ends at 7 o'clock (JST), from the start of eclipse in Chobe (Botswana), Africa to the sunset in Ceduna, Australia. In Chobe, the eclipse starts at 2:06 p.m. (JST), total eclipse occurs at 3:09 p.m. (JST) and the eclipse ends at 4:22 p.m. (JST). In Ceduna, the eclipse starts at 5:10 p.m. (JST), total eclipse occurs at 6:10 p.m. (JST) and the sun sets at 7 o'clock (JST), before the eclipse ends.

This project will transmit the images from Africa and Australia. These images are collected to the operation center, National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, via INMARSAT* from Africa, and via a mobile unit of satellite links for television from Australia, with the support of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

This webcast will use high-quality video transmission networks, which employ DV over IP*. As for the transmission technology, the next generation infrastructure IPv6* will be used. This system is the step to the next generation of Internet webcasting via broadband networks. The video transmission network is one which transmits digital video through DV over IP. The digital video data is transmitted via broadband networks from National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation to NTT Communications Corporation Otemachi Building, supported by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation. The transmission core center is set in the Otemachi Building, with the support of NTT Communications Corporation. From there, the data is transmitted to NTT SmartConnect Corporation (NTT-SmC), Cyber Kansai Project (CKP), Next Generation IX Consortium (distix), Regional Internet BackBone (RIBB), Information Services International-Dentsu Ltd. (ISID), and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East).

For general Internet service, we will transmit the images with the support from several providers. The support providers are; IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC), Accelia Inc., NTT Communications Corporation (OCN), NTT SmartConnect Corporation (NTT-SmC), J-Stream Inc., Broadband Exchange, Inc. (BBX), BroadBand Tower, Inc. (BBTower), and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

Moreover, this webcast is built on the support from many corporations, organizations, and persons. For the list of supporters, please refer to the web page of this project.

Users can watch the webcast on the web page of this project, http://www.live-eclipse.org/. In addition, with the support of Studio ALTA Co, Ltd., the images of the eclipse will be presented on the TV screen of Studio ALTA in Shinjuku for 5 minutes from 7:00 p.m. on December 4th.

In the web page carried out by LIVE! UNIVERSE, either RealOne Player, Windows Media Player, or QuickTime Player is necessary to watch the webcast (any of them provides free version). We will provide 50kbps, 500 kbps and 1 Mbps bandwidths. The web page will be provided in Japanese and English, transmitting the information to the world.
We estimate the access to be several ten thousand at a time and will be twice as much as that of last total solar eclipse webcast (June, 2001).

<About this total solar eclipse>
A total solar eclipse is the phenomena when the sun is completely hidden behind the moon. When the sun and the moon cross over each other, a little light leaked around the moon makes wonderful "Diamond Ring", and pearl-colored "corona" which spreads around the sun. On December 4th, the total solar eclipse will occur over Africa and Australia. 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 from 3:09 p.m. (JST) for 1 minute in Chobe and from 6:10 p.m. (JST) for 30 seconds in Ceduna. The highlight occurs when the sun sets just after the total solar eclipse in Ceduna.

INMARSAT: A satellite communication system which uses fixed satellite and can be used from all over the world. Land-based units have a mobile type which provides voice and data service at 64 kbps.
DV over IP: Data transmission system which was developed to transmit high-quality digital video data via TCP/IP networks without deterioration.
IPv6: Next generation Internet protocol, which accepts 128 bit address by expanding the current version IPv4.

***** 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 research by approaching new projects of space science, such as the launch of rockets, not only astronomical phenomena. Chairman is Masami Okyudo, Director of Misato Observatory.
<General Information>

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