We can’t get enough eclipse around here, and when an Airstream’s involved, that makes the event all the more shiny.
Slooh, “Your Interface to Outer Space,” is an online observatory that lets people log in and view the celestial wonders from their own chairs, no spacesuit required. Slooh is actually several observatories: they started with a couple of telescopes positioned in the Canary Islands 14 years ago, and now they have multiple telescopes tuned to different views of the universe, five sets of them in the Canaries, and one in Chile.
And also some fancy scopes and cameras in their Mobile Astronomy Unit Airstream, which just returned from a multi-city road trip to view and broadcast the 2017 total eclipse, live. You must check out their YouTube video on the moment of totality—it’s wondrous for the event itself, and for the tangible feeling of awe in the observers.
Along with Michael Paolucci, Slooh’s founder, Slooh’s chief astronomer Paul Cox traveled 3,666 miles with the Airstream from Slooh’s homebase of Connecticut to Stanley, Idaho, on the path of totality. The two stopped at science centers along the way to demonstrate Slooh’s equipment and raise awareness of the event. They also invited members of their very active online community to meet them in Stanley, and many did.
The site declares their mission to be that “everyone should have access to the wonders of space,” and they make a dedicated pursuit of that, with lively discussions in community forums that cover the quadrants of the known (and unknown) universe. Slooh produces shows available to their members, with expert guests that discuss and display astronomical questions, theories and pursuits.
Community members can control some of the telescope angles from their home computers as well as take photos of the views and share them with others.
The truth is out there—look to the skies. Now you can look at little more closely. Go to www.slooh.com and journey to the stars. (Gravity will probably keep your Airstream on the ground.)