The Astronomy On-Line Bulletins describe recent developments around this project. For the time being, they will be issued at irregular intervals. Please note that at the time of the official opening of the Astronomy On-Line Programme, information will also become available in the Newspaper area.
The first collaborative project within Astronomy On-Line is concerned with the total lunar eclipse which happens tonight, between September 26 and 27.
Full information about this event, including suggestions for observations which may be made with very simple means, are available at the Lunar Eclipse site.
If you are interested in the weather forecast, consult for instance the CNN weather forecast for cities. Let us hope for the best!
The organizers sincerely hope that many participating groups will be able to perform such observations. As indicated in the text, your reports should be sent to the EAAE European Student Project Group. Within a few days the results will be published in the Astronomy On-Line Newsletter and will allow you to calculate your geographical longitude by means of a simple method.
The AOL organizers have been approached by an American group in Idaho which would like to collect observations of this night's lunar eclipse. You may find more details at their site: http://plasma.phys.uidaho.edu/astro/eclipse.
One observer in France has sent the following message: Search for photographs of the lunar eclipse from a place situated at 47 or 48 degrees latitude: In order to calculate the distance of the Moon by measuring its parallax, I'm looking for some amateur astronomers who'd like to take photos of the lunar eclipse together with Saturn, on September 27th 1996. I make observations from Dijon, France, situated at 47,3 degrees latitude North and 20 degrees longitude East. Calculations would be easier for the pupils, if the other observations were made from a place situated at about the same latitude and as far away as possible in longitude. In order to plan the snaps shooting, please contact : Pierre Causeret, Sentier du Mordain, 21170 - ESBARRES (France); e-mail : email@example.com; Thank you in advance!
Please take up direct contact by email with M. Causeret, if you think you can help.
Addition (September 27, 1996: 05:15 CEST): What a wonderful sight! The sky is completely clear over Munich and the Moon is high in the southwestern sky, close to Saturn. Its light is deep red and you can still see a narrow, illuminated part on the right side. Orion is beautiful and Venus is incredibly brilliant in the east! (RW)
Addition (September 27, 1996: 12:15 CEST):Observations in Norway are reported on Norwegian Astronomy On-Line Homepage; http://www.phys.uit.no/astro/AOL/lunarecl.html (with photo!).
We have today opened the project concerned with the Partial Solar Eclipse on 12 October 1996. These pages have very extensive information about the event itself and how to observe it by means of two different methods. One of these (2-D) is quite simple; another (3-D) is more demanding. It does not matter which of the two you choose; your observations will in any case be very valuable and will contribute to the first ever determination of the distance to the Moon and its physical size, made entirely by students and amateur astronomers.
There is also an interesting chapter about some historical events connected to solar eclipses.
ESO has prepared a new version of the Astronomy On-Line Brochure and it has just been distributed to the National Steering Committees.
The brochure contains an updated description of the entire project; this can also be seen on the Web under the heading Description.
As stated earlier, the Astronomy On-Line Programme will be officially opened on October 1st. On this day, the Shop with Group Communication will become active and you will find other new items in some of the Shops. More items and projects will follow soon thereafter, and the number of activities will continuously grow.
Note also that on this date the first issue of the Astronomy On-Line Newspaper will be published on the Web.