Panasonic Eclipse Live by Solar Power

Early October we drove up to Mt Carbine north west of Cairns to carry out some 3G network tests and document the rising sun. Why would we do that!? Panasonic Japan have contracted Empire Entertainment who in turn have contracted Visual Obsession to track film and stream (on the internet) the Total Eclipse of the Sun on the 14th of November 2012.

This reconnaissance trip was to determine two critical points - how high above the hills on the horizon would the sun be at 6.20 am on the morning of the Eclipse. The other was to test the internet speed and availability. Firstly we determined that the Eclipse will take place above the horizon and secondly the 3G network unfortunately dropped out randomly.

Port Douglas was selected as the main site for the filming of the Total Eclipse of the sun. On Monday 8th of October the Visual Obsession team and Facebook writer Kristy Vallely packed the equatorial mount, telescope and met the Japanese contingent where we had a site appraisal and meetings with Sheraton Mirage management, Cairns Regional Council, environmental assessor and Doug Ryan executive officer for Tourism, Port Douglas and Daintree.

The second site selected for the Total Eclipse is Fitzroy Island south east of Cairns. The location is a 2.3 kilometre hike up with a few fairly steep walking inclines but a beautiful view once up at the lighthouse. We again tested the 3G and this time the signal remained consistent with a clear line of sight to the ocean horizon.

The Panasonic Live by Solar Power set up will have two telescopes on each mount at both Port Douglas and Fitzroy Island. One will be a full sun focus and the other a closer partial sun shot.