Crowd Sourcing Solar Eclipse Megamovie

Alain Brian
Août 22, 2017

By 9 a.m. PDT on the West Coast of the United States the moon was making its way across the sun for the total solar eclipse of 2017.

Google has teamed up with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley to carefully stitch all of the collected photos together into one continuous shot of the view from Earth - as if one single camera was racing across the planet to keep the eclipse in view.

The Google Doodle on Monday was about the total solar eclipse. However, 14 states across the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse with almost three minutes of darkness in the middle of the day (around 5pm United Kingdom time) over the course of 100 minutes.

Anyone under the path of totality-that includes you with the hip safety glasses or DIY pinhole projector-can also submit photos of the sun today.

More than 12 million Americans live inside the path of totality and more than half of the nation live within 400 miles of it. Millions more are expected to travel to cities along the path to witness the phenomenon. The resulting 3-minute movie will be a preview of the larger publicly available dataset of photos that will enable scientists around the world to study the sun and its atmosphere.

To participate in the Megamovie, you'll need an interchangeable lens digital camera (like a DSLR or mirrorless camera), not just a cellphone, and you'll also need to be in the path of the eclipse's totality. Or download the Eclipse Megamovie Mobile app for Android and iOS to automatically capture and save images. "We'll put out new, improved versions of the video as more of our volunteers upload their photos".

By now, you should have a pair of protective specs (and no, sunglasses do not count) or a homemade pinhole viewer, through which you can see the eclipse without burning your retinas.

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