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Help Scientists Learn During the Eclipse!

August 17, 2017

As you probably know, we have a solar eclipse on the way!  Only a very small part of North Carolina is in the path of totality, but many locals are planning trips to see the full eclipse in Tennessee or South Carolina.  Want to help scientists learn more about the impacts of the eclipse on our planet while you make your observations, wherever you happen to be?  The following citizen science projects are looking for help from people like you!

Globe Observer

How cool is the eclipse?  Help scientists answer this question by recording the temperature during the eclipse, whether you’re in the path of totality or not.  More info: https://observer.globe.gov/science-connections/eclipse2017

HamSci

This one is for Ham radio enthusiasts!  Use your equipment to help to study the ionospheric effects of the total solar eclipse in one of several studies. More info: http://www.hamsci.org/projects/2017-total-solar-eclipse/get-involved

EclipseMob

EclipseMob is a crowdsourced effort to conduct the largest-ever low-frequency radio wave propagation experiment during the 2017 solar eclipse. Build your own radio receiver and participate in the measurement!  More info: http://eng.umb.edu/~eclipsemob/

Life Responds

This project is aimed at biologically minded eclipse watchers!  Report what happens to animal behaviors in your area before, during, and after the eclipse through the iNaturalist app or website.  More info: https://www.calacademy.org/citizen-science/solar-eclipse-2017.

Eclipse Megamovie

The Eclipse Megamovie Project is gathering images of the eclipse from photographers, amateur astronomers, and the general public. They’ll then stitch the images together to create a continuous view of the total eclipse as it crosses the United States that will be available to researchers. More info: https://eclipsemega.movie/  (Note that your camera’s sensor is a sensitive thing – you will need a special filter to photograph the eclipse to be sure you won’t damage your device!)

Information about additional projects can be found on the NASA eclipse citizen science website (https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/citizen-science) or on SciStarter (https://blog.scistarter.com/2017/08/science-experiments-public-solar-eclipse/#sthash.nt8wcVXF.dpbs).  Check them out if nothing here strikes your fancy!

Want to learn more about the eclipse in general?  NASA’s website has a ton of great information available:  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

Please be careful when observing the eclipse!  Wear approved eye protection or view the sun using indirect means such as pinhole devices.  The ONLY time it is safe to view the eclipse directly is during totality, so 100% coverage of the sun.  If you’re in the Triangle during the eclipse, there will be no point at which it will be safe to view the sun without protection.  Don’t have proper gear for observing the sun? Come see the eclipse at the Museum!  We’ll have a live feed of the eclipse and our astronomers available to watch in the Daily Planet Theater on Monday.  Join us for a safe and educational viewing experience!

Happy (and safe) viewing, everyone!

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