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Wibbly Wobbly Web casts shadow over eclipse

BBC servers max-out –- would have done better with a stone circle...

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The anticlimax of today's once-in-a-lifetime solar event was eclipsed only by the difficulty experienced by people trying to watch it on the Web. Thousands of moon watchers flocked to BBC Online to watch the corporation's coverage of the eclipse. How many were disappointed when they couldn't get on is another matter. Simon Rahamin, a spokesman for BBC Online, admitted that some people would have not been able to see their blinding coverage but said that this was simply due to the sheer number of people logging on to the site. With six Webcams in the path of the moon's shadow it's estimated that one million people accessed the site during the eclipse. "I don't know the exact figures yet but early indications are that we almost reached our maximum bandwidth just before the total eclipse," he said. Eclipse99.co.uk appeared to have fallen out of the sky completely, while visitors to excite.co.uk or total-eclipse.co.uk needed a plug-in to see their coverage. In truth, there can only have been two places worth witnessing this astronomical event. Either on TV -- the coverage was stunning I'm told -- or in a dark little pub in the centre of Winchester appropriately named The Eclipse. ®

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