Eclipses are occultations. In fact, we watch the occultation, not the eclipse as technically the eclipse is the passing into the shadow of another body, i.e. the ground is where the eclipse is actually happening 🙂
Building upon the success of the Transit of Venus broadcast and the fact that my regular partner in astronomical adventures, Terry Cuttle, is one of the worlds most prolific eclipse chasers and wasn’t going to see our local event in Nov 2012 go un-noticed, I ended up on the fabulous beach at Palm Cove near Cairns as part of the live broadcast team for NASA!
It turned out OK in the end, but my take-home factoid from this trip is that TV and astronomy don’t mix! As we were trying to align our telescopes for the broadcast, Nine News turned our beach into daylight and their satellite uplink destroyed our satellite wifi. In the end, the global broadcast was done over a dodgy 3g mobile phone connection using a DSLR with a bit of mylar glued to the front. So much for the thousands of dollars worth of kit we dragged up there:) Still, the worlds media was full of picture if me and Terry setting the scopes up…
And the best said about the weather the better! Have a look at this clip of me doing a late night interview:
But the end result was fabulous and the clouds parted JUST in time!