Tomorrow, in various lucky zones of northern hemisphere, the moon will snap over the sun like a lens cover, to borrow a metaphor from the writer Annie Dillard. The Exploratorium is ready. At Total Solar Eclipse: Live from China, the venue will switch on the Webcast from the team it sent to China specifically to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region near the Mongolian border to let visitors view the totality. This will happen at 4:09 a.m. You might be asleep, but the dragon dancers promise to wake everyone up. Before that, the evening will feature presentations by scientists and astronomers (and a NASA astronaut), Chinese folk tales from storyteller Charlie Chin, Mongolian dance, throat singing, and plenty of telescopes in the parking lot, courtesy of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers and the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers. After the dragon eats the sun and coughs it back up, everybody gets a lesson in tai chi before leaving. If all that sounds like too much of a good time, youre in luck: The Exploratorium is also throwing a Webcast party in Second Life.
Thu., July 31, 9 p.m., 2008