In the special year of IYA 2009 (, on Wednesday, 2009 July 22, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses half of Earth. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. After leaving mainland Asia, the path crosses Japan's Ryukyu Islands and curves southeast through the Pacific Ocean where the maximum duration of totality reaches 6 min 39 s. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes most of eastern Asia, Indonesia, and the Pacific Ocean.

With the maximum duration of 6 min 39 s, it is the longest solar eclipse in the 21st century. The Chinese mainland, along the Yangzi River, is the most convenient region for observing the eclipse. Since the weather conditions in this region on July 22 are very hard to forecast, the Chinese Astronomical Society, the host of IYA 2009 in China, is organising a large scale live broadcast program for the eclipse event. We will try our best to let everyone enjoy this great event.

The project, "Multi-site Federated Live Broadcast of Solar Eclipse on July 22, International Year of Astronomy 2009", will take full advantage of the latest technologies in network, multimedia and the emerging Web 2.0 technologies. Multiple observation sites will be organized inside the wide eclipse region, especially in the large cities inside the total solar eclipse belt. Signals from different sites will be collected to a central broadcast studio through high-speed network backbones. After synthesization, the public signal will be released to various portals, including website, TV, mobile phone, etc, and then made accessible to the public through these portals.

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