I stayed up last night watching the webcasts for the annular eclipse, which commenced at around 11.30pm local time in Belfast. I was certainly not alone – I noted that many of the feeds had audiences of hundreds of thousands of people, all eagerly awaiting a glimpse of totality. Those poor Panasonic guys up on top of Mt Fuji – I’m sure it was still an amazing experience, but it did look rather miserable. It was great to see the eclipse from a variety of feeds. I found myself flicking across different feeds, and I have to confess that I became so tired that I did not actually see any live feeds of the eclipse making landfall in the US.. Thanks again to all those involved in live feeds – it is much appreciated. Even if I did fall asleep.
In just over ten hours, the annular eclipse of 2012 will begin at sunrise in China. The shadow of the moon will make it’s way across the earth, across the pacific and over the western part of North America until sunset in Texas. I plan to watch the event on live webcasts – something that I have not done before. You see, I am usually on the ground eagerly awaiting the arrival of the shadow. So this will be quite a different experience. I wonder if I will also share the excitement, thrill and goosebumps watching it unfold live.
I can see a few advantages actually. I have none of the anxiety associated with what the cloud will be doing at the time of totality, as I will be sitting in the comfort of my living room in Belfast instead of at the mercy of sinister clouds. I also am able to view live webcasts from several locations across the path of totality – something that is obviously impossible to do live. It is also easier on my bank account too. I will be watching the feeds from China, Japan and the US, and have a wide range of choice regarding location based upon where people are providing their feeds from. Currently I am thinking of using the http://events.slooh.com site which will be feeding live from Japan and then the US. But I will spend a little time now searching for feeds provided by eclipse chasers I know, so I can feel perhaps a little more connected to the eclipse.
But, as all eclipse chasers know, watching it on a screen in no way compares to being there and experiencing an eclipse. I might be comfortable, with no anxiety and lots of choice, but I am the one who is missing out.