The papal conclave began on Tuesday, and the 115 voting-age eligible cardinals are currently gathered at the Sistine Chapel.
Chimneys usually go unnoticed, but during the conclave all eyes will be turned toward the Sistine Chapel's chimney. As the Cardinals cast their ballots in secret, smoke billowing from the Sistine Chapel's chimney -- CBS has a live stream of it -- will signal if a decision has been reached. Vatican City, and the area surrounding the Sistine Chapel, has added new security measures, including anti-bugging devices, which aim to deter any leaks from the conclave.
The Sistine Chapel was closed to visitors last week and construction was performed to install a false floor, for the anti-bugging devices, as well as two stoves. The first stove will be used to burn all the ballots in order to prevent anyone from knowing how each individual cardinal voted. The second stove will be attached to a chimney that will let outsiders know if a decision has been made. If black smoke billows from the chimney, a new pope has not been elected; if white smoke billows, a new pope has been elected. If there's no decision made on Tuesday, the cardinals will return to their residences and start the election process again on Wednesday.
Prayer services will be held at the Sistine Chapel and four rounds of voting, two morning sessions and two afternoon sessions, will commence as the cardinals vote.
The conclave and election process will be a rather quick deliberation. In the last century, no papal conclave has lasted longer than five days, reports the Associated Press. You can watch the papal conclave chimney in the live stream below. The Guardian also has a handy website to determine if a new pope has been elected.
Alternate live stream:
Alternate live stream 2 via NBC News:
Alternate live stream via The Guardian:
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.