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Watch team climb Mt. Fuji to photograph solar eclipse [live video]

May 19, 2012 |  5:25 pm

Partial eclipseAs spectators from Asia to California to Texas gear up for Sunday's solar eclipse, one group in Japan is broadcasting live its ascent of Mt. Fuji to photograph the once-in-a-generation event.

Mt. Fuji, the highest point in Japan, is directly under the full path of the annular eclipse -- one in which the moon blots out all but the sun's outer edge, blocking all sunlight except for a "ring of fire." ("Annular" means "ring" in Latin.)

Technology giant Panasonic has sponsored a team of climbers to scale the 12,388-foot mountain, and the filming will be powered by the firm's solar technology. The crew began filming live at 3 p.m. Pacific on Saturday; it does take breaks but comes back online periodically.

Best time to watch weekend's solar eclipse?

The crew is joining numerous organizations planning to broadcast the eclipse live on the Internet. Among the first will be the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Observatory, which set to begin broadcast at 2:41 p.m. Pacific on Sunday. The Slooh SpaceCamera will begin its broadcast from Japan at 2:30 p.m. Pacific.

In California, the eclipse will reach its peak during the 6 o'clock hour. Click here for specific times.

You can also watch the show from New Mexico. Near Albuquerque, the Petroglyph National Monument will begin its broadcast between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific and will see the maximum shadow between 6:33 p.m. and 6:38 p.m. Pacific. 

Best place to view eclipse?

Among the attendees at the Petroglyph National Monument is Griffith Observatory Director Ed Krupp, who will be on hand to see the first "ring" eclipse visible from the continental U.S. since 1994. 

"All systems go," Krupp told The Times in an email. "We seem to be on track for clear sky. We still hope to grab the ring.

"Albuquerque is very mobilized for the event.... Actually, all of New Mexico seems to be alert to the state's felicitous eclipse location," Krupp wrote.


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-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: A partial eclipse of the sun silhouettes palm trees on the grounds of Sky Pilot Temple in Pomona on Christmas morning in 2000. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times