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LIVE! ECLIPSE 2002 Press Release No. 3
December 4, 2002


<LIVE! UNIVERSE! Total Solar Eclipse Flash Report>
Successful webcast from Africa and Australia continents
-- Also presented live images to TV stations through DV over IP --

http://www.live-eclipse.org/

Non-profit organization LIVE! UNIVERSE (Koto Ward, Tokyo. Chairman is Masami Okyudo), which relays astronomical phenomenon via various networks, has webcasted the total solar eclipse on December 4th from Africa and Australia. It was a striking event for LIVE! UNIVSERSE because the first challenge to present live images to TV stations through DV over IP has succeeded.

This solar eclipse was blessed with fine weather, both in Chobe (Botswana, Africa) and Ceduna (South Australia), and we could webcast beautiful corona and diamond ring. In Chobe, the sun was not covered by clouds at all during the eclipse. In Ceduna, the altitude of the sun at the total solar eclipse was only 9 degrees and the clouds were in concern before the start of observation. Just before the eclipse, 90 % of the sky was covered with clouds and it seemed to be difficult to catch the images of the sun. However, the sky got clearer as the eclipse proceeded, and we could take beautiful images without any clouds during the 30 seconds of total solar eclipse.

On the webcast via the Internet, we used 64 kbps narrow bands of satellite telephone network in Africa and TV quality satellite network in Australia. So far, narrow band such as 64 kbps could not give us the images of streamer because the quality is low. However, more than expected, the technical improvement gave as beautiful images of corona in this webcast. From Australia, we also used the TV quality video camera and could capture the images which show various tone of corona.

DV over IP is a data transmission system which was developed to transmit high-quality digital video data via TCP/IP networks without deterioration. In this total solar eclipse project, we succeeded in presenting live video to several TV stations through DV over IP networks. In some TV stations, the live video was directly broadcasted on TV. This success is very valuable as a step to the next generation Internet broadcasting in which communication and broadcasting are assimilated. For details on this webcasting system, please refer to LIVE! ECLIPSE 2002 Press Release No. 2 (November 27).

The total access during the live webcast (from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) is 6,100,000, as expected. The access during the live webcast from Australia was three times as that from Africa.

The distant learning program was held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m at Narusedai Primary School (Machida City, Tokyo) and Osawadai Primary School (Mitaka City, Tokyo). At Narusedai Primary School, 30 students (5th and 6th grade) and 25 parents participated. The teacher said, "Not only the children's, but also their parents' reaction was so impressive. I am so glad to hear that some parents said that they want to watch with all the family members next time. Really, so beautiful natural phenomenon moves us so much."

Chairman of LIVE! UNIVERSE, Masami Okyudo made a following remark:
As the image quality of webcast on the Internet is inferior to that of TV broadcasting, webcasting was thought to be unsuitable for the phenomena like solar eclipses, which requires high quality images. However, through this time's webcast, the webcast on the Internet has finally assured that it can convey the images of solar eclipse clearly. An annular solar eclipse will occur on May 31 in Iceland and a total solar eclipse will occur on November 23 in South Pole next year. Our new task is to deliver images from polar regions. LIVE! UNIVERSE is planning to webcast these solar eclipses.

LIVE! ECLIPSE 2002 was supported by many companies and organizations. The supporters are as follows.
[Gathering information]
* IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC)
* MeSci (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)
* Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

[Encoding]
* IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC)
* Apple Japan, Inc.
* NTT Communications Corporation
* NTT Smart Connect Corporation
* J-Stream Inc.
* SystemK Corporation
* MeSci (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)
* Nihon University Center for Information Networking
* Victor Entertainment, Inc.
* Produce on Demand Inc.
* Rikei Corporation

[Web hosting]
* IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC)
* Internet Initiative Japan Inc.
* Cyber Kansai Project
* Information Technology Center, The University of Tokyo

[Wide-area request routing technology]
* Intec Netcore Inc.
* NTT Smart Connect Corporation
* Kyushu Sangyo University
* OKAMURA Laboratory, Computing and Communications Center, Kyushu University
* NextCom K.K.

[Streaming]
* IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC)
* Accelia, Inc.
* NTT Communications Corporation
* NTT Smart Connect Corporation
* J-Stream Inc.
* Information Technology Center, The University of Tokyo
* Nihon University Center for Information Networking
* Broadband Exchange, Inc.
* BroadBand Tower, Inc.
* Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic Hi-Ho)

[DV over IP]
* Accelia, Inc.
* NTT Communications Corporation
* Cyber Kansai Project
* Next Generation IX Consortium (distix)
* Regional Internet BackBone (RIBB)
* Telecommunication Advancement Organization of Japan
* Information Services International-Dentsu, Ltd. (ISID)
* Powerplay inc.
* NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE EAST CORPORATION
* IPv6 Promotion Council

[Network equipments, technology]
* ADAM NET, LTD.
* Apple Japan, Inc.
* Internet Research Institute, Inc.
* NTT-ME CORPORATION
* NISSHO ELECTRONICS CORPORATION
* Network Appliance Japan KK
* Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd
* Marubeni Solutions Corporation
* RealNetworks KK
* Content Routing Network Forum

[Image taking]
* MeSci (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)
* Japan Communication Equipment Co.,Ltd.
* Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., AVC
* Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
* Hiroshi Ishii
* Shigemitsu Inoue
* Yasuhiro Kondou
* Hirotaka Watanuki
* Pacific Tour Systems Corp.

[Image taking technology]
* Information Technology Center, The University of Tokyo
* Nihon University Center for Information Networking
* Japan Communication Equipment Co.,Ltd.

[Image editing]
* MeSci (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)
* Nihon University Center for Information Networking
* Hideo Fukuda

[Web Contents]
* Makiko Aoki
* Info-Star
* Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts
* Sunao Hiruta

[Public relations]
* Info-Star
* impress corporation (impress tv)
* MeSci (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)
* Incorporated company Will

[Music]
* Lyra Records

[Special thanks]
* IIA, Inc.
* National Astronomical Observatory Japan
* Communications Research Laboratory
* Misato Observatory
* Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Science Site "DSPACE"

About LIVE! UNIVERSE
http://www.live-universe.org/
LIVE! UNIVERSE is the integrated organization of two volunteer groups LIVE! ECLIPSE and LIVE! LEONIDS Executive Committees, which have broadcasted astronomical phenomena such as solar eclipse and Leonids, via the Internet from all over the world since 1997. Its members are amateur astronomers, professional astronomers, network engineers, etc. 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 presented in several academic theses of information processing societies and educational system information societies, etc, and also used by researchers to collect information. 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.

<General Information>info@live-universe.org

<For the press>
LIVE! UNIVERSE Public Relations Department: Ishikawa
press@live-universe.org

* Please send the articles on LIVE! UNIVERSE to the following address
Tomoya Nagai
c/o National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Aomi 2-41
Koto Ward, Tokyo
135-0064135-0064

 

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