(WSPA) – The countdown is on for the solar eclipse that will happen next month, and scientists at Clemson University are using this rare opportunity to study it, and what’s behind it, from their own backyard.
The Western Carolinas are front and center for the total solar eclipse that will happen on August 21st, just after 2:30 p.m., and Clemson University will be participating with NASA to learn more about exactly what goes on in the sun’s outer atmosphere–it’s corona.
“Citizen CATE” stands for Continental-AmericaTelescopic Eclipse and involves scientists that range from students to researcher to retired astronomers.
Identical telescopes and volunteers with precise instructions will be set up from Oregon to SC along the path of totality. Clemson researchers will snap many pictures, along with everyone along the path in the US associated with this experiment, to record the sun’s activity.
During the two and a half minutes of totality, Clemson researchers will snap many pictures, along with everyone along the path in the US associated with this experiment, to record the sun’s activity.
The pictures from across the country will be pieced together to make a movie.
This movie will not only look cool, it’ll also give us a front seat to understanding the sun’s activity that can sometimes disrupt communications and satellite/GPS information, cause excessive radiation to high latitude airplane passengers, and produce the Northern Lights.
NASA expects to release the movie a couple of months after the event.
While we know a lot about the sun, scientists are still unlocking mysteries of the full impacts and power of the sun, and this experiment is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Carolina researchers to study it from their own backyard.