Space Exploration

Streaming the South American Solar Eclipse with the Help of the Cloud

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Just before sunset on July 2 the moon over South America will pass in front of the sun and shift its umbral shadow from the Pacific Ocean, over La Serena, Chile, across the continent to Buenos Aires, and into the Atlantic. Although locations in neighboring Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay will be able to witness a partial eclipse — no one will have to miss out on viewing this celestial spectacle.

That’s because The Weather Company, an IBM Business, is providing a live stream of the eclipse starting at 4:00 p.m. EDT, on July 2, on The Weather Channel web and app.

The effort is a collaboration between The Weather Company and the La Silla Observatory (Chile); the Argentina Association on Astronomy; the Government of San Juan, Argentina; the Felix Aguilar Observatory; the Leoncito Astronomical Complex; the Calingasta of San Juan; and NASA, among others.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the sun is completely covered by the moon, blocking all sunlight. The entire show takes about two hours, but the exact moment when the sun is totally covered by the moon could last up to four minutes. It takes about 300 years to repeat on the same place on planet Earth.

The Hybrid Cloud Behind the Scenes

The Weather Company is well-equipped to handle the expected surge of online visitors. With a daily unique user count that can spike from 30 million to 100 million unique users during severe storms — and a system that can deliver as many as 25 billion worldwide forecasts in a single day — and The Weather Channel app, part of The Weather Company, rely on the IBM hybrid cloud to get the processing power it needs, when it needs it.

In addition to helping The Weather Company meet heavy demand at times of emergency, the IBM hybrid cloud provides a new level of security for The Weather Company and its users, 30 percent faster load times, and the ability to run and manage redundant, distributed workloads for 100 percent uptime.

For viewers in the U.S., The Weather Channel web and app will be live streaming the eclipse starting at 4:00 p.m. EDT. In Latin America, viewers can stream the show through this page (text in Spanish), or on this page (text in Portuguese). Experts will be live providing real-time information (in English) about the phenomena.

Director Technical Sales & Distinguished Engineer, IBM Watson Media and Weather

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