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Computers Will Stitch Together First-Ever Megamovie of Solar Eclipse


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Stitching together a movie of the eclipse.

Following today's solar eclipse, a Google algorithm will be busy stitching together thousands of photos taken by citizen scientists into a three-minute megamovie.

Credit: Tyler Nordgren

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Google are working on the "Eclipse Megamovie" project, in which volunteers take photos of the upcoming solar eclipse's path across the U.S. and then upload the images to the Megamovie website. A Google algorithm then will combine the thousands of photos into a three-minute megamovie to be published later this evening.

The algorithm is based on the Solar Eclipse Image Standardization and Sequencing (SEISS) algorithm, which was created in 2012 to integrate images taken of the 2012 total solar eclipse in Queensland, Australia. SEISS included code for detecting when the eclipse was in its partial phases, but the new Google algorithm will use each photo's time stamp and global-positioning system location to determine if it was taken during the totality and disregard other images.

The Megamovie project will provide scientists with observational data about the sun's atmosphere that is extremely rare and valuable.

From Inverse
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