In Conjunction with the Exploratorium's
Live Total Solar Eclipse from China
July 31, 2008
Hooked on the Shadow: A Solar Eclipse Documentary (2000, 28 min.), by David Makepeace, is a startling documentary that examines the transformative experience of witnessing a total solar eclipse. View this film at the Exploratorium on July 31, 2008, as part of the Exploratorium's all-night eclipse viewing event. Doors open at 9pm and are open until midnight. Hooked on the Shadow presents a view into the world of an obsessive subculture known as "eclipse chasers," whose lives have been transformed by what they see in the sky. From the Caribbean Islands to the deserts of ancient Babylonia, Hooked on the Shadow takes us inside the shadow of the Moon to explore a powerful natural phenomenon that has fed our understanding and imagination in the sciences as well as our dreams. This film is included in the price of admission to the Exploratorium.
Hooked on the Shadow is only part of the Exploratorium's total solar eclipse program, which begins in the evening on July 31st, and continues through the wee hours on August 1st. Since the eclipse is not visible at all in the United States, San Francisco's Exploratorium brings its fifth eclipse expedition team to remote Xinjiang Province in Northwestern China, very close to the Mongolian border, where the Exploratorium will webcast the eclipse live to the world. This evening is both a celebration and party, a look at Chinese culture, and pure Sun-Earth Connection science. The celebration begins with astronomers, food, music, and of course, tea/caffeine, to keep you alert for the big event. Films and solar science activities, like spectroscope making, will be held, as well as the sorts of traditional Chinese performances that mark special occasions, and in the name of science, roving astronomers to answer questions. Museum capacity is limited; we may sell out early. We strongly encourage advance reservations through www.ticketweb.com. To prepare for the overnight celebration, please plan on arriving early to find a good sleeping location and to enjoy the night's activities. Everyone is welcome to bring sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, folding chairs, and snacks. No glass, please. Our café will offer dim sum, organic food, and beverage service from 9pm-midnight. There will be rest areas for those who want to catch some shuteye. As the revelries quiet down, the science and the webcast begin at 3:30am PDT (10:30am UT), August 1, and continue through totality at 4:09am PDT. Exploratorium staff scientists and NASA Sun-Earth Connection scientists at San Francisco's Exploratorium will moderate visitor questions with our China-based eclipse team, conduct demonstrations of the science behind an eclipse, and answer questions, whether in-person or for the Internet audience.