Curated Expeditions

Curated Expeditions is dedicated to observing and experiencing fascinating earthly phenomena

Archive for eclipse

The longest eclipse of the millenium

With the maximum duration of 6 min 39 s, it is the longest solar eclipse in the 21st century. The Chinese mainland, along the Yangzi River, is the most convenient region for observing the eclipse. Since the weather conditions in this region on July 22 are very hard to forecast, the Chinese Astronomical Society, the host of IYA 2009 in China, is organising a large scale live broadcast program for the eclipse event.

Junta de Extremadura and Shelios expedition will offer a direct broadcast of the eclipse in:

http://www.eclipsesolar.es/live.html

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The Moon Goose Experiment – Realisation Report No.1

The first Report of the realisation of the project of Agnes Meyer-Brandis is available on her webpage. In this illustrated documentation the artist narrates the exiting search of the special Moon Geese, suitable for the Experiment, followed by the preparative steps and the episode of the very important day, the 1st of August in the small sand island in Ob -river called Scarabeus to experiment the total solar eclipse from a cloudless Siberian sky.

A.Meyer-Brandis

The Moon Geese above the total solar eclipse, photo: A.Meyer-Brandis

Exploratorium – stories from the path of totality

Exploratorium has selected stories and photographs of historical expeditions to Sumatra, Japan and Spain among others from 1858-1918.

Least like a sunset, it was too sombre and terrible. The pale, broken circle of coronal light still glowered on with thrilling peacefulness, while nature held her breath for another stage in this majestic spectacle.

Well might it have been a prelude to the shriveling and disappearance of the whole world–weird to horror, and beautiful to heartbreak, heaven and hell in the same sky.

Absolute silence reigned. No human being spoke. No bird twittered.

Corona and Coronet: Being a narrative of the Amherst Eclipse Expedition to Japan, in Mr. James’s Schooner-Yacht Coronet, to Observe the Sun’s Total Obscuration, 9th August, 1896 by Mabel Loomis Todd

A drawing of the 1858 total solar eclipse.

A drawing of the 1858 total solar eclipse.

It was a far more imposing sight without than with the telescope, and long has been my experience in the investigation of celestial phenomena, and calm and unimpassioned, at such times, as my temperament has become, the sublime majesty of the scene thrilled me with excitement and humble reverence.

Nor was it less effective upon others. Two citizens of Olmos stood within a few feet of me, watching in silence, and with anxious countenances, the rapid and fearful decrease of light. They were totally ignorant that any sudden effect would follow the total obscuration of the sun. At that instant, one exclaimed, in terror–“La Gloria!” and both, I believe, fell to their knees in awe.

An Account of the Total Eclipse of the Sun on September 7, 1858, as Observed Near Olmos, Peru by Lieut. J. M. Gillis.

This year´s eclipse is going to be webcasted live by The Exploratorium’s eclipse expedition team from the remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwestern China near the Mongolian border. Possibility to follow the phenomena easily at home! In case you will move your body to the total eclipse zone, please send your experience to: ulla@capsula.org.es, the best stories will be rewarded by an official Capsula eclipse bag!

The “Zoolar Eclipse” by Mireia

The postcard by Mireia C. Saladrigues

The postcard by Mireia C. Saladrigues

Mireia is finalising the contents of Zoolar Kit in Barcelona and the postcards and posters are almost finished to be printed out before the actual journey, that is about to begin on 22nd July at 18.23 pm from Helsinkin Railway Station. The selection of the animals that she wants to pay special attention in the Novosibirsk Zoo during the eclipse consists of the following species:

White Handed Gibbon, Polar Bear, Indian Marten, Liger (the hybrid of the Bengalensis Tiger female and the African Lion male), Eurasian Eagle Owl and Great Bustard. The artist encourages the people not only write about their observations but also draw their experience about the animal behaviour when the light of the sun suddenly disappears. The selection is based to the artist´s own preferences and to the valuable information given by the director of Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki, Seppo Turunen and Dr. Jordi Sabater Pi, ethologist and anthropologist in Barcelona. Mireia did interview personally these specialists in Helsinki and Barcelona to define the selection that in Novosibirsk is going to be observed by one hundred visitors of the Zoo.

The study in wild animal behaviour during the total solar eclipse, made in Zimbabwe Mana Pools Natural Park in 21st June, 2001 has also been very useful for Mireia´s “test-animal” selection. Paul Murdin, English astronomer, author, broadcaster and astronomy consultant has written very interesting article about this study, put together of the notes of 250 volunteers that observed Park´s animals during the whole day of the eclipse. The cousin of Paul Murdin and former president of WEZ (Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe, Shirley Cormack, is the person behind this initiative, that was the first systematic study of its kind.