Scientific teams going to Africa for the total solar eclipse, on 21 June,
will rely on the ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft to show them the Sun’s weather
during the event.

As the Moon’s shadow sweeps from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, via
Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Madagascar, SOHO will have an
uninterrupted view of the Sun from its vantage point far beyond the Moon.
European and American expeditions have asked the SOHO team to obtain images
at their various local times of total eclipse, when the Sun’s glowing corona
comes into view around the rim of the Moon.

Especially in demand are images from the EIT and LASCO instruments on SOHO.
EIT observes the storms in the Sun’s atmosphere by ultraviolet light, which
is blocked by the Earth’s air. LASCO is a visible-light coronagraph that
keeps the Sun perpetually eclipsed by masks in its telescopes. Viewing a
huge volume of space, LASCO will show how features seen close to the Sun,
by ground observers during the eclipse, relate to space weather further out.

On 21 June, eclipse images from a French expedition to Sumbe in Angola will
be relayed as a live transmission by satellite to the CNES-ESA pavilion at
the Paris Air Show, for display on large screens. The mid-point of the
eclipse will be at 14:38 Paris time. This presentation in real time will
be discussed by a round table of experts. Eclipse images and the
near-simultaneous SOHO images will also be released on this web site (on
the ‘Solar Eclipse June 2001’ pages), as they become available.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Bernhard Fleck, ESA-SOHO project scientist

Tel: +1 301 286 4098

Fax: +1 301 286 0264


Dr. Paal Brekke, ESA-SOHO deputy project scientist

Tel: +1 301 286 6983

Fax: +1 301 286 0264


ESA Science Programme Communication Service

Tel: +31 71 5653183


* SOHO and the 2001 Eclipse

* SOHO real-time images

* Solar Eclipse June 2001

* LASCO home page

* EIT home page


The Moon’s shadow will pass over southern Africa during the total eclipse of
21 June 2001.