The Day Before
This is the hardest day. We spend all morning running
cable and positioning cameras, checking the composition of the scene on
the monitors-- these choices will determine what the world will see when
we go live tomorrow, so we need to get them right.
The telescope guys are tinkering endlessly with their instruments, trying
to get them aligned to the invisible point in the sky known as the south
pole of the celestial sphere. Once aligned, these three motorized telescopes
will automatically track the sun. We have a wide angle telescope with
a solar filter to show the entire sun; during totality, we'll remove the
filter to show the entire corona and maybe even the planet Jupiter nearby.
We have two higher-magnification telescopes: one will let us show close-up
details of the corona around the edge of the sun; the second one has a
special hydrogen alpha filter.