Home   Live   Mobile Observatory

Chasing Eclipses with timeanddate

timeanddate.com captures breathtaking live images of solar and lunar eclipses worldwide using a mobile observatory.

Telescopes set up to pint at the Sun to capture a total solar eclipse.

Adalbert Michelic setting up the telescopes of the mobile observatory in San José de Jáchal, Argentina.


On the Road Again in 2023

This year, we’re planning to dispatch our mobile observatory to two far-away destinations to bring you spectacular live eclipse images:

A Traveling Telescope

Although the setup of a mobile observatory is a lot simpler than one might think, there is quite an extensive list of items needed to make sure the images make it all the way to our viewers around the world, including:

  • a telescope or two,
  • a camera to capture the telescope images,
  • a couple of computers with the right software,
  • networking equipment,
  • a good internet connection,
  • a huge number of cables and batteries, and,
  • astronomy enthusiasts willing to travel across oceans.
Illustration image

Steffen Thorsen and our mobile observatory streaming a partial solar eclipse from the northern tip of Norway.

Chasing Eclipses Since 2016

Each eclipse can only be seen from certain locations, so filming them can mean just setting up our telescopes on the roof of our headquarters in Norway, a short road trip to chase a patch of blue sky—or traveling to the other side of the globe. Past trips include:

2022: Morocco, Northern Norway, New Mexico

In May 2022, our mobile observatory was finally on the road again after a long travel hiatus. This time, we went back to Ouarzazate, Morocco, to live stream the total lunar eclipse.

For the partial solar eclipse in October, we dispatched our mobile observatory to the northern edge of Norway. Two weeks later, our team flew to Roswell, New Mexico, to cover the November lunar eclipse—although we ended up in Tucson, Arizona, due to bad weather in Roswell.

Illustration image

Mathew Gundersen watching a total lunar eclipse (the red dot at the top of the image), and making sure it gets streamed to our studio in Stavanger, Norway.


Lunar Eclipse in November 2021

We streamed the almost total lunar eclipse on November 18–19, 2021. Covid restrictions kept us from traveling to North America with our mobile observatory, but with the help of our stellar (or lunar, you might say) streaming partners, we still streamed it LIVE.

A partially eclipsed Moon sets in Ouarzazate, Morocco, on the morning of May 16, 2022.

An eclipsed Moon sets over the Sahara desert in May 2022—captured by the timeanddate mobile observatory.


Lunar and Solar Eclipses in May and June 2021

Covid restrictions kept our mobile observatories within Norway’s borders for the annular solar eclipse on June 10, 2021. After monitoring the weather and deciding at the last minute where to travel, we ended up with one observatory going to Kautokeino and one to Oslo. See the eclipsed Sun in our annular solar eclipse show.

Unfortunately, the pandemic completely blocked our plans to take the mobile observatory on the road for the total lunar eclipse on May 26. Luckily, with the help of our trusty streaming partners, we streamed the eclipse LIVE. See the Blood Moon in the total lunar eclipse show.

The timeanddate control room for the total lunar eclipse on the night of May 15-16, 2022

Images from our partners across the globe coming into the timeanddate HQ during an eclipse live stream.


Eclipses in November and December 2020

Covid-19 travel restrictions stopped our plan to take the mobile observatory to Argentina for the total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020. We still streamed the total solar eclipse with our streaming partners’ help.

As a special bonus show, we also live-streamed the penumbral lunar eclipse on November 29/30, 2020.

Annular Solar Eclipse 2020

Our plans to travel to Oman to capture the annular solar eclipse on June 21 were thwarted by Covid-19 travel restrictions. Despite this, several partners on location helped us broadcast a spectacular live stream of the eclipse straight from our studio in Stavanger, Norway.

Illustration image

Anne Buckle and Graham Jones hosting the July 2, 2019 total solar eclipse live show from Argentina.


Three Eclipses and a Transit in 2019

In 2019, timeanddate’s mobile observatory was on the road for a transit of Mercury, a partial lunar eclipse, a total solar eclipse, and a total lunar eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse in Greece 2018

We first took the mobile observatory on the road in 2018, capturing the July 27, 2018 total lunar eclipse from Santorini, Greece.

Bonus Track: Mercury Transit in 2016

For our very first live stream—the transit of Mercury in 2016—we simply put an amateur telescope on the balcony outside our offices.

Live streaming Mercury transit in 2016.

Our first ever live stream was on the balcony of timeanddate’s old offices with this simple setup. The wooden floorboards posed a problem when zooming in on tiny Mercury moving across the Sun’s surface!