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On February 26, 1998, a total solar eclipse darkened skies in a swath stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, across the Caribbean. From the island of Aruba, an Exploratorium team presented a live Webcast of this celestial event.
At the time, Webcasting technology was in its infancy, and this first live Webcast ever of a solar eclipse broke existing records for the number of viewers. Watch the archived Webcast here, or just click on the images below for still photos of eclipse highlights. Join Exploratorium scientists Paul Doherty and Isabel Hawkins for a live webcast as they share information about the Rosetta Mission, which is due to be "woken up" on January 20th, 2014. Rosetta is a spacecraft en route to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will make the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. Watch the beginning of Venus’s transit across the disk of the sun, one of the rarest astronomical events. Watch the conclusion of Venus’s 6.5-hour journey across the disk of the sun, one of the rarest astronomical events. Senior Exploratorium Scientist, Paul Doherty demonstrates how you can make your own sun viewer. You can safely view sunspots, eclipses and transits with this equipment that you may have laying around the house!
To learn more about the upcoming Transit of Venus visit: http://www.exploratorium.edu/venus/question3.html This After Dark event presented a collection of objects, organizations, and activities use various alternative energy sources, and also looked at sustainably raised food. Astronomer Dr. Isabel Hawkins's journey to the stars began with two chance moments of enchantment with celestial bodies in her native Argentina. Inspired by the mystery of the sky, she went on to study physics and astronomy in California and then to work for 20 years as a research astronomer at UC Berkeley. Now retired from research and devoted to inciting a love of the stars and sky in young people, Dr. Hawkins reflects on her own initial moments of inspiration, on sharing her love of stars with others, and on how astronomy can, and should, remind us of our connection to one another, under a canopy of mystery.
The Exploratorium Eclipse team drives back to Urumqi with our partners from XJTV, after the live broadcast. It was pretty hot, probably above 40 °C most of the way, and a 14 hour drive. This is a time-compressed video of of the trip out to the Weizi Gorge (Yiwu) along China’s cloud-covered Silk Road. Dr. Laura Peticolas is a physicist at UC Berkeley's Space Physics Research group. She studies the Aurora to learn more about the Earth and the workings of our Solar System. She's currently working with NASA's Mars data to understand why the Martian aurora looks the way it does. In this podcast she discusses her research, her inspiration and how and why scientists sonify data. We tour the NOAA Atmospheric Research Observatory at the South Pole where scientists are monitoring carbon dioxide levels, CFCs, solar radiation, and the ozone hole.