May 27, 2020

Astro-Vid Of the Week: Documenting the November Hybrid Solar Eclipse

Totality as seen from Libya during the 2006 Total Solar Eclipse.

(Credit: NASA TV).

An interesting Indiegogo project came to our attention just last week.

ISSET, the International Space School Educational Trust, is working to document and create a live interactive web broadcast of the only solar eclipse to include totality for 2013.

They will be chasing after the hybrid eclipse which crosses the Atlantic Ocean and central Africa on November 3rd of this year. Maximum totality for this eclipse off of the west coast of Africa is a scant 1 minute and 40 seconds. The team is headed to the Kenyan village of Kalokol on the shores of Lake Turkana, where totality will be even more fleeting, at 15 seconds in duration.

The two hour feed will feature live interaction with an online audience worldwide by astronaut and veteran Space Shuttle commander Ken Ham, astronaut trainer Michelle ham, and astronomer Dr. Rhodri Evans.

ISSET has a solid 15 year track record of promoting international STEM education. The team has a targeted goal of $75,000 USD to make the documentary and the online event happen. Broadcasting from such an austere locale, they may be the only webcast in town for this event!

Perks range from a tweeted “thank you” at the 5$ level (they’re @IntSpaceSchool on Twitter) up to an opportunity to join the team in Kenya at the $12,000 mark. We’ll be driving over to the Florida Space Coast side if skies are clear on the morning of the 3rd, for a brief <3% rising partial eclipse.

This is a fascinating project, and for a noble cause.  We’re now within 4 years of the “Big One,” the total solar eclipse crossing the United States on August 21st, 2017. And we’ve only got three totals before then… why not join the ISSET team online or in person this coming November?