Thursday, February 18, 2016

Part 2: Prepare to Meet Thy Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017

As I mentioned in my previous post, there is going to be a total solar eclipse of the Sun that will be visible here in the Northwest, and in Oregon in particular, on August 21, 2017 at about 10:21 am (PDT) in the morning.

I was reading my January 2016 Sky and Telescope magazine...
...when I noticed an article referred to on the front page about "Be Part of Coast-to-Coast Eclipse Science," the possibility of joining with amateur astronomers across the USA in recording the eclipse for scientific research in video. Sounded interesting...

It is called "The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment" or C.A.T.E. (link).

"The Citizen CATE Experiment will use a fleet of telescopes to observe the total solar eclipse of 21 Aug 2017.  As the shadow of the moon travels across the continental USA, citizen astronomers from more than 60 sites will take images of the brightness of the inner solar corona.  While the totality phase of the eclipse will last only 2 minutes at each site, the combined Citizen CATE Experiment data set will reveal for the first time how this part of the solar atmosphere changes during 90 minutes. New scientific results about the dynamics of the magnetic fields and plasmas in this part of the solar corona will be derived from the data, and the image sequence will provide a beautiful perspective of the solar eclipse as never seen before." (text copied from the home page of C.A.T.E.)

Here is what the scope that will be used looks like:

I have already signed up and spoken with the coordinator, Matt Penn (who is an associate astronomer with the National Solar Observatory in Arizona) and a fellow amateur astronomer in Salem, Oregon about helping with the training and implementing of the observations here in Oregon.

I am looking forward to participating with this project !

Here is a map that shows the path of the total solar eclipse here in Oregon:

Here is a map that shows the path across the entire USA:

If you want to find out where the closest places are to you check out this page.
You can zoom in and locate potential sites near you!

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