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From: TerryMosel@aol.com
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 20:22:32 EDT
Subject: Eclipse - help? + Comet

Hi all,

I have learned of a very interesting proposal to observe the next Total Solar 
Eclipse, on 4 December, from Mozambique, and to do a worthwhile project while 
there.

As many of you know, the track of this eclipse crosses Southern Africa, the 
Indian Ocean, and ends in Australia just after sunset. Many British & Irish 
observers are planning to observe from Zimbabwe, South Africa or Australia, 
if only because they speak English there. But the track also crosses 
Mozambique, where in fact the duration is longest on land, and the weather 
prospects there are about the same as South Africa.  (The best weather 
prospects are in Australia, but the sun's altitude there is very low, and the 
eclipse duration is very short.) So Mozambique has a lot going for it in this 
respect. It's also a lot more peaceful at present than Zimbabwe, or many 
parts of South Africa!

Xanda Monteiro is Mozambiquan/Portuguese, currently working in Dublin. She's 
an artist, writer, photographer & film maker, and plans to return to 
Mozambique to photograph & film the eclipse from an artistic as well as 
scientific point of view: she already has taken photos of the last eclipse.

The following is only a very brief summary of her lengthy & detailed 
proposals, and you should contact her for more details if you are interested, 
or think you could help:-

She will be mounting a major exhibition based on the last, and this, eclipse 
(if successful), at the big astronomy meeting in Dublin next spring.

One of her aims on the planned trip is to build a small 'village' for the 
observations, and then hand it over to the local people for their continued 
use so that they continue to get some benefit after the eclipse is over, and 
all the 'rich westerners' have gone home again. She is negotiating with 
various Ministries in Mozambique (Tourism, etc) regarding this. She also 
hopes to provide an 'educational' service to the local people on astronomy / 
eclipse while the group is there. Some English is spoken there, and 
translators should be available where required.

She is seeking help from the astronomical community in a number of ways:

1. Anyone wanting to observe the eclipse, but without any firm plans yet, 
should consider going on the proposed trip, both to observe, and to assist. 
Some financial assistance with transport to Mozambique, accommodation etc may 
be available - particularly if lots of people help re the other points below!
2. Any publicity that you can give, including passing on this or other 
details, would be very welcome.
3. Can you give any financial support?
4. Can you suggest any other sources of finance or help in kind, e.g. travel, 
insurance, equipment, film stock, printing, other publicity etc?
5. Can you, or your Club or Society, provide any letters of support - 
particularly if you are a professional astronomer? Prof Tom Ray of DIAS has 
already done so; support from other prominent professionals would be very 
useful.
6. Can you lobby any infuential people in the Irish Government to provide 
backing in any form, or source EU funding, etc?
7. Can you help in any other way, e.g. legal or financial or accounting 
advice?

Since time is short, please do anything you can ASAP!

I hope that's a reasonable summary of her very extensive plans: if you would 
like more information please email her at xandaone@eircom.net   
    
She has been having some problems with email, so if you have trouble getting 
through you can ring her on Dublin 283 5432, or write to her at 10 Maretimo 
Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin.

This seems to be a very worthwhile project, and I hope you will all help in 
any way you can.

BTW, there's a new comet on the way: it should reach almost 6th magnitude 
later this month, but it will always be fairly low in the dawn sky: more 
details as soon as there's a better set of elements available. It's called 
C/2002 O6, and was discovered by Masayuki Suzuki from SOHO images.

Preliminary elements are:

T 2002 Sept.  9.418 TT                                  
q   0.49467      (2000.0)            P               Q
                   Peri.   78.703       +0.418803       -0.807890
                   Node   330.959    -0.011376       +0.451899
e   1.0            Incl.   58.666       +0.908006       +0.378288


Terry Moseley


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