Our Sun is about to take a break for the summer, albeit
a brief repose noticeable only by people in Southern and
Central Africa.

However, while the first total eclipse of the new millennium
will not be visible from the United States, it will be made
available live, from the Southern African nation of Zambia,
to the rest of the world through NASA Television. The June
21st astral performance also is available to internet users
who have high-speed internet connections.

Watching a total eclipse means different things to different
people. Daylight fades in the middle of the day as the Moon
slowly covers the face of the Sun, creating an eerie dusk as
a shadow is cast on the Earth’s surface.

Our ancient ancestors considered an eclipse to be a bad omen,
and often carried out various rituals in an effort to scare
away suspected evil forces that devoured the Sun. Today,
scientists travel around the world to study this rare event
and millions of people are satisfied to simply watch this
celestial display of nature.

A science team will be in Zambia to capture video images of
the eclipse using specially equipped telescopes. Besides
being streamed live to the rest of the world, these images
will be broadcast to about 110 participating museums and
other venues.

This year, the event will focus on the themes of solar
maximum, habitability of space and living with the Sun. “A
total solar eclipse provides great opportunities to engage
and inform the public about NASA’s Sun -Earth Connection
science and the effects of the active Sun in space and on
Earth, ” said Dr. George Withbroe, Science Director of the
Sun-Earth Connection theme at NASA Headquarters, Washington,

A message from the Expedition Two crew on board International
Space Station is part of the webcast, which includes a
conversation with American astronauts Jim Voss, Susan Helms
and Russian Commander Yury Usachev.

NASA also will take viewers one million miles into space to
see how scientists use artificially generated eclipses to
study enormous solar eruptions. Scientific teams going to
Africa for the eclipse will rely on the ESA-NASA Solar and
Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft to show them the
Sun’s weather during the event.

Several NASA centers plan events associated and some of its
Centers are planning comprehensive solar eclipse events:

* Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD – Dr. Paal
Brekke, European Space Agency, will present a multimedia
summary from SOHO’s observations in the Albert Einstein
Planetarium at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum,
Washington, DC, from 12:20 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. EDT. More
information is available on the Internet at:

* Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA – Students from
the Los Angeles area can watch the webcast, look through
solar telescopes and hear African-American Scientists and
members of the National Society of Black Physicists discuss
how the Sun effects the Earth and how minority students can
get more involved in science. For additional internet
information, go to: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

* Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL – Reporters
and other media representatives are invited to interview NASA
astronomer Mitzi Adams, who will be in Zambia to witness the
eclipse. Telephone interviews are available by contacting
Steve Roy at 256/544-6535. More information is available on
the Internet at: http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/newsroom

To view the eclipse from a high-speed internet connection,
visit the World Wide Web at:

A complete list of participating museums can be found on the
web at:

NASA TV will carry the eclipse from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
EDT. Stations carrying this feed are requested to super
“Courtesy: NASA/Exploratorium.” NASA TV can be found on GE-2,
Transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical
polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz and audio of 6.8