Monday, 15 September 2014

Science club projects

I used to be deeply involved in my high school science club (president) and it was always fun to come up with projects that involved real science data collection. Solar eclipses present several experiments that can be done on modest budgets and/or in conjunction with local weather experts and astronomy associations.

Just for fun, here is one such idea.

Solar energy experiment

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

No Hawaiian Sailing for 2016

What a bummer. The ship plan to sail out of Hawaii to intercept the 2016 TSE has fallen through. There were just not enough people willing to sign up that far in advance. In all fairness, it was quite a gamble. The Pride of America is a big ship and holds lots of people. NCL was kind enough to give it a chance, but it just didn't materialize. The goal was to have half the ship booked by the beginning of the calendar year and that just does not seem possible.

So keep you eyes out for other opportunities. The waters south of Midway Island present the best chances for a clear view of the eclipse from a cruise ship. Problem is, very few ships sail that route.

The next best chances for eclipse chasers will near the start of the path on land. Let me know if you have a tour group or plans in place. Over 300 signed on for the cruise ship before it was given up, there is interest!

There are other options, just not from Hawaii. See Solar Eclipse 2016 detail page for listing.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

iPhone interface corrected

The iPhone web interface has been corrected and updated. Summary maps were missing pins to mark observer locations and that is now working correctly. I created the iPhone version of the web page due to the smaller screen size. One could not possibly display all the content available and make it readable!

Another update is to the file uploading. There was an error that slipped through initial testing and was discovered thanks to a report from a reader. After fixing the problem, new cartoons have been uploaded to the cartoons gallery.

Galleries for collections are now displayed in chronological order with the first added at the bottom of the list. Eclipse submissions continue to be in random order.

More updates as they come along. Let me know if you spot any other problems.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Kids and Eclipses

The upcoming 2017 TSE has generated a bit of interest in the teaching industry. Those directly involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education are putting plans together through various resources such as the IAU, AAS, and ASP. Teachers are looking at different aspects of the eclipse such as safety, educational opportunities, observations, and projects. Because the eclipse occurs in August, most students will not be in school at the time. That will further complicate education as classroom activities will have to take place before the end of the school year to prepare the students.

Of course, nothing beats actual experience. We have taken our younger children to solar eclipses and can tell you, no amount of education will really prepare them to see what you see. The eyes of a child are very different. To help illustrate that fact, cartoons, all based on real world experience.

More to come...

Monday, 18 August 2014

Bigger map with city search option

Back by popular request, the BIG map version (nearly full screen) showing eclipse path and quick calculation details. You can enter the name of a city and it will attempt to locate the position, filling in the lat/lon with a quick result displayed.

The default eclipse for the big calculator display is August 2017. Direct link is:

Monday, 28 July 2014

Still testing, it never ends!

I am continuing to update the webpages based on feedback from readers and by studying the access logs. Many thanks to those readers that contacted me directly regarding issues they were having. It helps to have many eyes look over the programming and development.

Because the folder (directory) structure was modified at the server level, many of the search engines need to be corrected. To assist in that regard I added 301 redirects to the old names with an automatic redirection to the newer page. When a search engine invokes a very old page, the main home is displayed instead.

Over the past few days various search engines have been exploring the site. I would like to think they are relinking references. This should allow eclipse-chasers to remain in the listings of the various search tools.

Once the engines stop their aggressive slurping of the site I will add a search option to the main menu so that you can find things easier. An earlier experiment with a search tool from Google resulted in it finding older links and causing problems.

I can assure you, this website isn't finished yet. All ideas and feedback are welcomed.

Monday, 21 July 2014

New Interface up and running

The web site,, has recently had a major face lift. There are now three primary menu interfaces. One for desk and lap top computers. One for tablets (no frames). And a third just for the iPhone. 

The iPad and iPhone machines are automatically detected and the appropriate menu will come up. If you are using another tablet or phone, you may have to initiate the interface to get away from the large screen version. Let me know what kind of browser and device you are using if you think it needs to be automatic.

Eclipse Chasers logo by Melissa