By Dr. JC Holbrook
I admit that I dreamed about total solar eclipses last night. Cairns and surrounds are filled with people who have traveled from foreign lands and other parts of Australia for the total solar eclipse. What is everyone talking about? The weather. Everyday the weather report is revised for tomorrow morning. Right now it says that there is a 50% chance of rain. Tensions are running high as the scientists try to decide if they are simply going to stay put and hope for the best, or travel to another spot where the chances of rain are lower.
Yesterday, Dr. Alphonse Sterling and Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi discussed the previous eclipses that they observed. In one case, for the 2006 eclipse in Ghana, they changed locations within hours of totality and were blessed with clear skies. However, they have not always been so fortunate. As I chatted with other eclipse chasers, they shared stories of failure after making the decision to change locations. The most dramatic tales were of when they left seeking clearer skies and
got clouded out, while the folks that they left behind had a last minute clearing, enabling beautiful views of the eclipse.
Dr. Sterling understands how totality impacts the weather, especially in the tropics. As the eclipse begins, there is a cooling that occurs similar to having the sun set. This allows clouds to form temporarily if there is a lot of humidity in the air.
In preparation, I have been taking pictures of the sunrise at about the time of the eclipse, 6:30 am. Thus far, it is about 50/50 for clear and cloudy. As Drs. Sterling and Oluseyi prepare their instruments today, they will be considering all these factors and a potential change of location. But whatever decision they make, will it be the right one?
Join us and find out, as we live tweet (in Australia, the eclipse occurs at 6:39 am on Wednesday, 11/14; In the states: today Tuesday, 11/13 at 1:39 pm PST, 3:39 pm CST, and 4:39 pm EST) at @blacksun2012doc and @astroholbrook
Please support the post-production efforts of Black Sun 2012. Your tax-deductible donation will help part our "financial clouds," and can be made today at https://www.austinfilm.org/film-black-sun
Hi Black Sun 2012 Supporters,
We know that it has been some time since last you heard from us, but it isn't because we have forgotten about you. Not at all! In fact, if you think back to our September post, you will recall that we received a grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant provided us with the means to make it to the second leg of our journey, to shoot Drs. Hakeem Oluseyi and Alphonse Sterling, as they conduct time-sensitive experiments on the solar eclipse in Cairns, Australia this November 13 (14th in Cairns). So, we have been busy getting our crew together, buying/renting equipment, purchasing plane tickets, and, oh yes -finding places to stay. It is all coming together.
But, we are not quite over the finish line yet. We are a few dollars shy from being able to add more shoots to the schedule. For instance, we’d like to get footage of our scientists’ past (neighborhoods where they grew up, family, etc.), in order to have a better understanding as to how they got to be the men/the scientists that they are today. Also, we would like to get shots of Dr. Oluseyi’s current work facility at the Florida Institute of Technology. In addition, additional financing is needed for post-production (editing, music scoring, motion graphics, etc.). However, this time, happily enough, your donation will be tax deductible! (←You win, We win)
BLACK SUN is a fiscally sponsored project of the Austin Film Society. You can easily make a donation by going to https://www.austinfilm.org/film-black-sun. In return, you will receive a letter acknowledging your gift to the Austin Film Society on behalf of BLACK SUN. And because AFS is a non-profit organization, your donation may be deducted from your taxes as a charitable contribution. With the above named additions to the project, we can be sure that our end product will be so inspiring to young people that they will rush to start scientific journeys of their own. :-)
You can also participate in another fun and exciting way. In the days leading up to the total solar eclipse in Cairns, Australia, Dr. Jarita Holbrook will be live tweeting the play-by-play on the ground in Cairns, as well as providing twitpics of the exotic location and festival atmosphere around the eclipse. You can be part of this as it unfolds by following Dr. Holbrook @astroholbrook, and Black Sun @blacksun2012doc. So join us (and a few thousand others from around the world) for the excitement; and pray that the weather provide lovely viewing.
More soon and thanks so much!
Carla L. Jackson
Co-Producer of Black Sun 2012
Like us on Facebook!: Black Sun 2012: A Documentary
We are preparing for the total solar eclipse in November. The National Science Foundation has given us funding to support our travel to Australia!
We have created an 8-minute film capturing the annular eclipse in Tokyo and NASA scientist Dr. Alphonse Sterling.
For the latest news about "Black Sun" and to see the short film please go to our new website: www.BlackSunMovie.com.
By Carla Jackson
And here they are...
Just another beautiful day in an Astrophysicist's world...
This is Toshinobu Takagi, who helped organize the public outreach of the annular eclipse at ISAS/JAXA
You lookin' at me?
Walking & Talking. Now, here is an interesting film technique. If the camera operator is not on a dolly, they have to be lead walking backwards to get that shot.You have to have faith in your crew member to take care of you.
Dr. Holbrook holding the white light solar filter for the telescope
The sun just as the clouds start to part...
Co-Director Kelvin Phillips making sure that he gets all of the sound right
Dr. Sterling and Dr. Inigo Arregui from IAC in the Canary Islands, Spain
Hi Camera Operator Jacqueline Kuenstler!
The crew comes home tomorrow. Can't wait to see what they brought me. Maybe a bit of the sun? :-)
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Apr 18, 2012 - May 18, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $10 or more
Updates about the film’s progress and our warm-as-the-sun thank you!Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $20 or more
Signed “Black Sun” poster, and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $50 or more
DVD of "Hubble's Diverse Universe" (www.HDUmovie.com): 'Nine African American and Hispanic American astrophysicists, One Iconic Telescope.' Public thank you on Facebook and Twitter, and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $100 or more
DVD of the final cut of “Black Sun” and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: Jul 2013
Pledge $300 or more
A set of location and still photos (at least 10) of the Tokyo and Cairns shoot, along with comments written by the filmmakers and the two scientists, and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: Jul 2013
Pledge $500 or more
Two tickets to the film premiere in 2013 (location TBA), and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: Oct 2013
Pledge $750 or more
A wake-up call at a sunrise of your choosing (not including major American holidays or weekends) from one of the scientists, and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: Jan 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
Associate Producer credit and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $2,000 or more
A 1-2 minute personalized thank you video from the scientists, posted on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and emailed to you, and the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $3,000 or more
A PRIVATE SCREENING and discussion with the filmmakers at your school, organization, or private event (travel & accommodation not included and would be extra). This level also includes all of the gifts listed aboveEstimated delivery: May 2014