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How to watch Monday’s eclipse online

Can’t travel to the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse? Never fear. Here’s how to watch online from a variety of sources.

Artist’s concept of a total solar eclipse, via WBNG.

NASA Television will air a four-hour show – Eclipse Across America – which will include live video of the event, along with coverage of activities in parks, libraries, stadiums, festivals and museums across the nation, and on social media. NASA’s show begins at 15:00 UTC (11 a.m. EDT; translate to your time zone), or later (we’ve seen this time waffle around a bit). Check the website for changes or further details. Ways to watch via NASA include:

NASA Live Stream Page
NASA Facebook Live
NASA YouTube
Twitter/Periscope
Twitch TV
Ustream
NASA Apps

NASA EDGE could be fun, too. It’s NASA’s “edgier,” unscripted live feed. The live NASA EDGE “megacast” will air for four hours from outside Saluki Stadium in Carbondale in partnership with the NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Lunt Solar Systems. The megacast kicks off at 15:45 UTC (11:45 a.m. EDT; translate to your time zone). In the show, NASA will interact with scientists and members of the public across the country and offer interviews with scientists, social-media chat, educational activities, and telescope feeds.

The Ballooning Project stream will send video from high-altitude balloons launched by 55 teams of university and high school students, scientific research groups, and other eclipse enthusiasts. Viewers can pick the balloon they want to watch via an interactive map on the website. The balloons use Iridium and GPS satellites, lightweight radio modems, Raspberry Pi computers, and live streaming video to collect data. They will fly along the path of totality from 100,000 ft up, so viewers will see an angle of the eclipse that shows the curvature of the Earth against the blackness of space.

The Virtual Telescope Project will live-stream the eclipse and invites everyone to send your eclipse images for possible publication online. Send eclipse photos to info @ virtualtelescope.eu.

The Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco – one of the nation’s most established and energetic science museums – is partnering with NASA to produce five live feeds of the eclipse. Part of the museum’s feed will be narrated in Spanish as well as English. The feeds will be available to the public and media organizations via Satellite, the Switch, and by downloading the museum’s free Android or iOS app or visiting the Exploratorium’s Eclipse Web Page. The Exploratorium feed begins around 17:00 UTC (1 p.m. EDT; translate to your time zone), or earlier. It will consist of: 1. A telescope feed from Casper, Wyoming; 2. A telescope feed from Madras, Oregon; 3. A one-hour English language educational eclipse program with scientific explanations by Exploratorium and NASA scientists; 4. A one-hour Spanish language educational eclipse program with scientific explanations by Exploratorium scientists; 5. Live performance by Kronos Quartet and eclipse sonification from San Francisco.

EarthCam’s live webcams will follow the totality of the solar eclipse throughout the U.S., from the top of the Seattle Space Needle to the streets of Times Square. The nationwide broadcast will begin in San Francisco at 16:01 UTC (translate to your time zone) and continue across the continental United States. Watch for shadow bands crossing cityscapes such as Seattle, St. Paul, St. Louis, and New York City. The eclipse may have an effect on animals whose behavior relies on light cues. View the bears at ZooMontana in Billings, MT and the giraffe family at the Greenville Zoo in Greenville, SC to see if they start to behave as if it is twilight.

The USA Today Network and Instagram have partnered to livestream Monday’s eclipse. The live feed will feature real-time video from multiple locations on the eclipse’s path with images and interviews with folks on the scene. USA Today Network journalists will be broadcasting live from Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina – taking viewers along the entire path of totality. In addition, they’ll be broadcasting on Facebook Live across their 110 properties with feeds from NASA, AP and local NETWORK properties. They’ve also created a one-stop day-of experience page featuring the immersive rotating livestream, a real-time map and FAQs about the eclipse.

CNN will live-streamed the eclipse. Volvo Car USA and CNN have joined forces to deliver the solar eclipse via 360° video in 4K resolution and virtual reality, through what they say is “a unique editorial and branded content campaign.” They say it will “offer an immersive experience to those not in the narrow path of the total eclipse.”

If you sign up to be a member, Slooh – a robotic telescope streaming service, with partnerships at observatories around the world – is offering commentary from scientists, eclipse-safety experts, and cultural correspondents, from a base in Stanley, Idaho. The stream should start around 16:00 UTC (noon EDT; translate to your time zone). Watch Slooh’s event here.

Bottom line: Ways to watch the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse online.

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Deborah Byrd

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