An Exploratorium and NASA Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum Event
Overnight Eclipse Viewing Party at Exploratorium Begins July 31, 2008 at 9pm
And Continues Through Friday, August 1 in the Wee Hours
Live Broadcast Begins at 3:30am (PDT), and Totality at 4:09am (PDT)
|The sun's corona is clearly
visible during this eclipse.
Exploratorium feed will be shared with over 100 museums across the country
On August 1, 2008, at 11:09 UT (4:09am PDT), a full solar eclipse will occur as the new moon moves directly between the sun and the earth. The moon's shadow will fall first on Canada, zoom across Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and into China, where an Exploratorium team will be waiting. 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. From this remote desert on the ancient Silk Route, we'll point four cutting-edge telescopes skywards to capture the eclipse from beginning to end -- in white light, hydrogen alpha (for amazing details), and Calcium-K (to see surface structure). In addition to live feeds of the eclipse, Exploratorium scientists Dr. Rob Semper and Dr. Paul Doherty will provide commentary on prominences, sunspots, and the corona as they occur. NASA Heliospheric physicist Dr. Eric Christian will show some of the latest imagery of the sun from NASA's SOHO and STEREO missions, and explain how the solar wind can impact us here on Earth. We'll also be joined by Dr. Na Wang, Director of the Urumqi National Observatory. From coronal mass ejections to snapshots of the Silk Road to the newest U.S. and Chinese moon missions, we'll cover it all while watching one of the world's most awe-inspiring celestial events. As the date nears, please check back at www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2008 for more details.
Spend the Night at the Exploratorium!
See the eclipse in person live at the Exploratorium, or at http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2008. Pack your sleeping bag and camp out on the museum floor for an overnight eclipse party. This event will capture and actively observe the full eclipse, and investigate space weather and the sun as a power source. It is both a celebration and party, pure Sun-Earth Connection science and a look at Chinese culture -- including Uyghur dancers, horizontal harps, a well-known local Chinese storyteller and Tai Chi instruction. The celebration begins with astronomers, food, music, and of course, tea/caffeine, to keep you alert for the big event. Doors open at 9pm, Thursday July 31. 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.
Admission hours are from 9pm, July 31 to 4am, August 1. Doors close at 4am, and only re-entry will be allowed after this time. Museum capacity is limited; the event may sell out quickly. We strongly encourage advance ticket purchases. You can buy tickets by calling (415) 561-0308, or through www.ticketweb.com. (Ticketweb will charge an additional service fee.) Please arrive early to find a good location and to enjoy the night's activities. Sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, folding chairs, and snacks are welcome (but no glass, please). Our café will be open from 9pm to midnight, offering food (some organic) and drinks. 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.
Please note our special admission policy: General admission: $16 for adults, $13 for youth (ages 13-17), $13 for college students, and $11 for children (ages 4-12). Exploratorium Members: $7 for adults, $5 for youth (up to age 18). Discount coupons, complimentary passes, and/or discount promotions will not be accepted at this event. Visitors who have purchased a ticket to this program are entitled to complimentary admission to the museum from 10am to 5pm on Thursday, July 31, 2008. To redeem your complimentary admission, please provide the admissions cashier with your name and sale confirmation number. If you can't make it to the museum, you can watch our eclipse program broadcast live on our website at www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2008.
This webcast event is made possible with support from NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum, as well as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Jim Clark Endowment for Internet Education, and the McBean Family Foundation. The Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum is a collaboration between UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory and NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, funded by NASA Office of Space Science.
In addition, science centers and planetariums across the country will join NASA and the Exploratorium to participate in the eclipse events via chat sessions with scientists and between museums nationally -- a global community that also extends to at home web visitors worldwide.
For those who cannot attend in person, point your browser to www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2008 to witness the eclipse and ask e-mail questions of our scientists at the Exploratorium and in the field. In short, if you are not doing anything else in the middle of the night on July 31-August 1, and are willing to skip a trip to dreamland in the name of science, you might just want to go the Exploratorium for this once-in-a-lifetime all-nighter.
The admission rates for the Exploratorium's overnight solar eclipse event are $16.00 for adults; $11.00 for children aged 4-12; and $13.00 for seniors, students, persons with disabilities, and youths aged 13-17.
B-roll video is available for members of the press.