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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. Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya muses on her ephemeral outdoor creation for the Exploratorium—the Fog Bridge—explaining it as both an homage to San Francisco and a conversation with nature itself. Southeast of San Francisco, on the way out to California's Central Valley, thousands of wind turbines dot the landscape of Altamont Pass. Mounted both in rows and individually, machines with large propellers catch the wind, turning round and round at different speeds. Learn how wind energy is generated and stored for use in this most peculiar area, and its impact on living things both near and far. 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. Admit it: Hasn't the Godzilla inside you always wanted to grab the Golden Gate Bridge and shake it silly? Finally, you can. In honor of the iconic span's 75th birthday, Exploratorium exhibit developer Dave Fleming presents a dynamic model of the Golden Gate Bridge. What happens to the bridge during an earthquake? How about strong winds and heavy traffic? The model dances and wiggles realistically, displaying the same vibrational modes and motions that occur in the actual bridge. 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 The Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (http://sccoos.org/) gathers live data about winds, waves, surface currents, temperature, and water quality, and makes it available to everyone. In this piece, Oceanographer Art Miller tells us about this system, and about how America's Cup sailors can use this kind of data and modeling to improve their race performances.
To access wind modeling data, visit:
How can a wind-powered sailboat move faster than the wind? Why do the America's Cup sails look like airplane wings? With the beginner in mind, Exploratorium senior scientist Paul Doherty introduces the basic physics of sailing and sail design.