Look, it's Sundy Crawford!
Photo © 2012 AP/Rob Griffith
Plans for a NASA webcast of the transit of Venus from an Alice Springs school were thrown into chaos after internet problems across parts of the Northern Territory.
Alice Springs was chosen as one of only a handful of locations around the world from which the US space agency was streaming live, because the town would have a view of the entire celestial event, and is often cloud free at this time of the year.
A team from Columbus State University had been in Alice Springs helping arrange the webcast, which was to have taken place from the Centralian Middle School.
But on Wednesday Telstra said internet, mobile phone and landline services across parts of the territory were down, due to a road worker in Mataranka putting a back hoe through fibre optic cables the previous day.
A Telstra spokeswoman told ABC radio that services should be restored progressively by 3pm (CST), with some customers restored earlier.
The transit of Venus could be viewed at Alice Springs from 7.45am (CST) until 2.03pm (CST).
"People in the Alice Springs and Tennant Creek communities have been impacted," she said.
Matt Skoss, a mathematics teacher at the Centralian Middle School, said the webcast had been working intermittently.
But the weather in Alice Springs was also making things difficult, with high cloud occasionally obstructing the view of the sun, he said.
The transit of the planet Venus between the Earth and the sun is a rare event, which occurs in pairs eight years apart, punctuated by gaps of a little over 100 years.
There has been no further word regarding the transit of the road worker.