LIVE! ECLIPSE 2003 Annular
May 31, 2003

LIVE! UNIVERSE webcasted a red annular solar eclipse of midnight sun
-- Rare images of the sun early in the morning from the high latitudes --


Non-profit organization LIVE! UNIVERSE (Ohta Ward. Chairman is Masami Okyudo), which relays astronomical phenomenon via various networks, has conducted the project "LIVE! ECLIPSE 2003 Annular" by webcasting the annular solar eclipse from Iceland and Finland on May 31.

This project was live webcasted at http://www.live-eclipse.org/ from 11:40 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. on May 31. We have webcasted the live video and time-lapse photographs of the annular solar eclipse from Akureyri in Iceland and the time-lapse photographs of partial solar eclipse from Helsinki in Finland.

This webcast was very valuable in science education in 2 points. One is that we could webcast the red thin ring-shaped midnight sun at low altitude. The other is that the time-lapse photographs taken from the wide field camera whose exposure is fixed enabled us to webcast the condition of sky and ground being darkened by the solar eclipse gradually. The webcast of solar eclipses so far have focused on the surface of the sun and could not take the images of the ground. However, the photograph taking technology we hired this time could make us capture the change of brightness on the ground for the first time. Besides, we could watch the unique movement of the sun in the early morning in high latitudes like Iceland.

Masami Okyudo, chairman of LIVE UNIVERSE, made a following remark:
Very educationally interesting and so impressive. In the live webcast of the annular solar eclipse, the red sun was striking. At the moment of the annular solar eclipse, I could not see the ring because of the clouds, but I could see the Bailey's beads clearly. In the time-lapse photographs of Iceland, the movement of the sun at low altitude was interesting. As for the time-lapse photographs of Helsinki, the exposure setting was so exquisite and this was the first time for me to watch the moving picture which shows the changes in the sky during partial solar eclipse. These time-lapse photographs must be very valuable.

The observation party in Helsinki, Finland, made a following remark about the situation in the field:
The weather forecast said it was cloudy but there was no cloud around the sun and the image taking went smoothly except that the exposure adjustment was difficult. Many people came to the park to watch the solar eclipse and there came a cameraman for TV coverage. The air temperature lowered during the solar eclipse and we could feel the solar eclipse actually.

The observation party in Akureyri, Iceland, made a following remark about the situation in the field:
We watched the sunrise from the pasture land which faces the Arctic Ocean. As the eclipse proceeds, the sun hid behind the clouds, but we could see the ring through a break in the clouds. While the eclipse, the horizon turned red and it became dark. Our party was consisted of 8 people and there were 25 people from France.

One of the participants of the class on solar eclipse at Misato Observatory in Wakayama said, "This was the first time for me to watch the annular solar eclipse on the Internet. It is wonderful that a phenomenon which is happening in very far place from here can be seen easily. The movement of the sun at low altitudes in high latitudes, seen on the time-lapse photographs, was very unique and impressive."

The total number of access to the web page from 11:10 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. is about 51,700 and the total number of access to the streaming is about 5,000. The peak number of the simultaneous access is about 500.

LIVE! UNIVERSE plans to webcast the total solar eclipse seen from the South Pole in this November. The South Pole is located in high latitudes just like this time's eclipse area. By putting this webcast's experience, LIVE! UNIVERSE aims to webcast interesting images of the solar eclipse with the continent in the background.

LIVE! UNIVERSE is a non-profit organization, which has broadcasted astronomical phenomena such as solar eclipse via the Internet from all over the world. Its members are amateur astronomers, professional astronomers, network engineers, etc., and some of the members webcasts the astronomical phenomenon from the field via from the INMARSAT, INTELSAT, etc. The web sites are always provided in Japanese and English, and have presented astronomical phenomenon to the world as one of the entertainments. The technology of taking images has improved each time and has successfully presented beautiful images. Besides, thanks to the broadband, the web contents are used in distance learning at school education or astronomical observatories. The members participate LIVE! UNIVERSE to try various technologies. They not only get the sense of fulfillment, but also enjoy and believe the value of presenting striking experience of natural phenomenon to the world via the Internet. Webcasting has performed as LIVE! ECLIPSE and LIVE! LEONIDS Executive Committees since 1997. These two executive committees were integrated and established as a non-profit organization, LIVE! UNIVERS in 2002 May. The chairman is Masami Okyudo, Director of Misato Observatory.
For the past projects, please visit http://www.live-universe.org/ja/project.html

[Gathering information] IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC)
[Encoding] IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC) / Information Technology Center, The University of Tokyo
[Streaming] IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC) / Accelia, Inc. / NTT Communications Corporation / NTT Smart Connect Corporation / Sony Communication Network Corporation / PFU LIMITED / Broadband Exchange, Inc. / Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
[Web hosting] IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC) / Accelia, Inc. / Information Technology Center, The University of Tokyo / Broadband Exchange, Inc.
[Wide-area request routing technology] Accelia, Inc. / Faculty of Information Science, Kyushu Sangyo University / CRN Forum / NextCom K.K.
[Network equipments, technology] IIJ Media Communications Inc. (IIJ-MC) / Information Technology Center, The University of Tokyo / Nara Institute of Science and Technology / Nihon University Center for Information Networking
[Image taking] Information Technology Center, The University of Tokyo / Shiho Hashimoto (SSH Communications Security Corpj
[Web Contents] science
[Public relations] Info-Star
[Special Thanks] Communications Research Laboratory

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