On March 29, 2006, a total solar eclipse will occur as the moon moves directly between the Earth and the sun. The moon’s shadow will fall on the Earth, first darkening the western shore of Brazil, and then moving across the Atlantic Ocean to make landfall in Ghana, Africa. It will continue moving northeast through Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Libya, Egypt, across the Mediterranean and into Turkey, where an Exploratorium team will be waiting in a 2nd-century outdoor Roman theater.

For the fourth time, the Exploratorium will travel into the path of totality to bring the public this momentous event live, in real-time, via satellite and the Web. It will be webcast at ww.exploratorium.edu/eclipse. The program will be lively, informal, and educational, led by Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty and NASA scientists. The webcast live, begins at 2am PST. Totality is at 2:55am PST. Highlights include a scientific blow-by-blow and commentary on:

–Live views of the eclipse in both white light and with an H-Alpha filter (looking at the sun in the light that hydrogen emits in order to see more detail on the surface of the sun)

–Introduction to Side, Turkey, and to the 2nd-century AD Roman theater where our crew is based

— Eclipse images from NASA’s Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite (The satellite is stocked with 12 sun-gazing instruments.)

–Updates on leading-edge solar research

–Live calls from the path of totality with commentary from Dr. Fred Espenak – “Mr. Eclipse” – in Libya, Dr. Kennedy Reed in Ghana, in order to follow along with the shadow of the moon

The Exploratorium’s eclipse programming will be broadcast live to community centers, NASA learning centers, and museums in the US, Mexico, Egypt, and Europe via satellite and Internet-2, connecting as many as 100 partner institutions. It will also be Webcast via the Internet at up to 512kbps to an anticipated live Internet audience of 100,000, and then archived on the Exploratorium’s website.

In addition to this live broadcast, the Exploratorium has a Web resource rich with information about safe solar viewing, celestial mechanics, eclipse expeditions of the past, and eclipse mythology. It also includes archives of past eclipse Webcasts, interviews with scientists, and hands-on activities.

For more information, go to www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse.

Produced in partnership with NASA, UC Berkeley, and the Goddard Space Flight Center. Support provided by the McBean Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Jim Clark Endowment for Internet Education, and NASA’s Sun-Earth Connection.