Wednesday, June 15, 2011

For all the "Lunatics in The Delta!"

Google Homepage Doodle Provides Lunar Eclipse Live Feed

lunar eclipse 2000
Astronomy fans in the U.S. won't be able to catch a glimpse of Wednesday's total lunar eclipse, but Google just put up a homepage doodle that will allow people to follow along.
"Starting now, see the latest state of the lunar eclipse on our homepage - thanks @slooh for the imagery," Google tweeted. provides crowdsourced access to live telescopes from around the world. Since its December 2003 launch, members have taken 1.3 million photos of 35,000 unique objects and events in the night sky. The Google doodle will include a live feed of the lunar eclipse from Slooh's Space Camera, which will update every two minutes throughout theevent.
When you land on the doodle, a dial at the bottom of the image will move from left to right, going through the various stages of the eclipse, before settling on its current state. For a slower view, however, you can move the dial back and forth yourself.
Google Doodle Provides Lunar Eclipse Live Feed
Earlier today, Google announced that it would team up with Slooh to live stream the eclipse. There are several ways to watch: Slooh's live mission interfaceincludes audio narrations from real-life astronomers and it also has an Android app; there's a live stream on the Google YouTube Channel; and there's an eclipse sky layer in Google Earth that's accessible via a special plug-in.
During a lunar eclipse, Earth comes between the sun and the moon so that all or part of the sun's light is blocked from the moon, according to NASA.
Wednesday's eclipse is also notable for how long it will last. "The total phase itself lasts 100 minutes. The last eclipse to exceed this duration was in July 2000," astrophysicist Fred Espenak wrote in NASA'seclipse guide for 2011.
The entire event will be visible from the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, and western Australia, Espenak said. Europe will miss the first part of the eclipse because it happens before moonrise, but—with the exception of northern Scotland and northern Scandinavia—Europeans will be able to see totality. Eastern Asia, eastern Australia, and New Zealand, meanwhile, will miss the last stages of eclipse because they occur after moonset.
In South America, observers in eastern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina will witness totality, but nothing will be viewable from North America. Those in the U.S. should be able to see the December eclipse, however.
If you're in an area where you can view the eclipse, see PCMag's 6 Tips for Better Moon Photos.
For more on Google's doodles, see the slideshow below. The company's last popular doodle was a playable image in honor of musician Les Paul, which eventually got its own standalone site.
For more from Chloe, follow her on Twitter @ChloeAlbanesius.
For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

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