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Partial Solar Eclipse (25th October) Seen From The UK

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    • By NASA
      4 min read
      Meet the Creators, Part 4: Two New 2024 Total Eclipse Posters
      Total solar eclipses reveal the Sun’s outer atmosphere – the corona – a white, wispy halo of solar material that flows out from around the Sun. This atmosphere is breathtaking as it glows in the sky for viewers on Earth, surrounding the dark disk of the Moon. In addition to revealing this normally hidden part of our Sun, the eclipse also darkens the sky, changes shadows, and cools the air. It can feel like living inside a piece of art.
      Artists have captured the magical appearance of eclipses for over a thousand years. For the upcoming total solar eclipse crossing North America on April 8, 2024, two artists have contributed new posters to NASA’s eclipse poster series.
      Dongjae “Krystofer” Kim
      Download the poster here. NASA/Dongjae “Krystofer” Kim Dongjae “Krystofer” Kim is a Senior Science Animator at the Conceptual Image Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design and a Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts from the Design Leadership program at the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He combines various art and design disciplines, including fine arts, graphic design, creative coding, animation, and design research to help tell NASA’s story.
      Where did you get inspiration for the eclipse poster?
      “I was contemplating how the eclipse is an event that is beyond human scale physically and chronologically. It will look differently outside of my myopic view from this planet and it will occur after I am gone for many years to come. With this perspective, I thought of how future space explorations with permanent settlements on the Moon will view this event. While searching for scientific references, I remembered a video piece by our own NASA Goddard media team ‘An EPIC View of the Moon’s Shadow During the June 10 Solar Eclipse’ in 2021 and used it as a visual reference.”
      What inspired you to become an artist?
      “My inspiration came via Pixar and Ghibli animated films and shows I watched as a child. Despite being a little dyslexic Korean kid, I was welcomed into the world of each story. I found it magical that artists could seemingly create everything from nothing or something fantastical from mundane ideas and objects. And I loved that art enables you to communicate your own ideas as well as learn about others creating common ground.”
      Want to explore this artwork more? An animated version of this poster is available to download.
      Genna Duberstein
      Download the poster here. NASA/Genna Duberstein Genna Duberstein is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated multimedia producer and graphic designer who specializes in both making and marketing content. Her work has been shown internationally, aired on PBS, and has been featured in many outlets, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, WIRED, The Atlantic, and National Geographic. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from American University and a Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University.
      Where did you get inspiration for the eclipse poster?
      “During the 2017 total solar eclipse, my parents sent me a picture of themselves, smiling in eclipse glasses and sitting on their front stoop with their dog. It was such a goofy, happy picture, I wanted to capture that same spirit for the poster. I have a dog of my own now – a goofy, happy American foxhound mix – and he proved to be the perfect model for the total eclipse poster. There’s no denying an eclipse can be an awe-inspiring event, but it can be just plain fun too!”
      What inspired you to become an artist?
      “I can’t help it! I’ve always made things, and I’ve been very fortunate to have had support along the way. My parents enrolled me in my first art class at four, and they encouraged me to submit work to art contests all through elementary and high school. Portfolio-based scholarships and commissioned portrait work helped me pay for college. To this day, I’m incredibly lucky to have had a career where I can be creative, and I am thankful for all the people who have made it possible.”
      Have an idea for how to put your own spin on this poster? This artwork is also available as a downloadable coloring sheet.
      By Abbey Interrante
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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    • By NASA
      4 min read
      Ride the Wave of Radio Astronomy During the Solar Eclipse  
      GAVRT DSS-28 dish at the NASA Deep Space Communications Complex near Goldstone, California. NASA/Russell Torres Students and science enthusiasts are invited to catch a real-time look at radio astronomy as scientists explore magnetic hotspots on the Sun during a live, virtual solar eclipse event on April 8, 2024.
      A massive, 34-meter telescope once used by NASA’s Deep Space Network to communicate with spacecraft will point towards the Sun during the solar eclipse that day. The Moon’s position in front of the Sun will help the antenna detect radio waves from solar active regions in more detail than is usually possible. 
      The Solar Patrol team at California’s Lewis Center for Educational Research, in partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will remotely operate the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) while sharing observations and commentary during an interactive webinar open for the public. 
      Scientists and students regularly use the single-dish GAVRT antenna, located in the Mojave Desert of California, to scan the Sun. They use the observations to build maps of radio waves formed along strong magnetic field lines in the outer atmosphere of the Sun. By studying these images, researchers can measure the strength and structure of those powerful magnetic regions. These observations offer insight into magnetically driven processes on the Sun, like solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which generate space weather events that can interfere with satellite electronics, radio communications and GPS signals, spacecraft orbits, and power grids on Earth. 
      During normal solar observing, GAVRT can only detect and distinguish relatively large features on the Sun. A solar eclipse offers a unique opportunity for GAVRT to capture sharper and more refined information about the magnetic field structure in the solar active regions that are often marked by sunspots.
      “It’s special during the eclipse because, as the Moon is passing in front of an active region, that really sharp edge of the Moon covers up more and more of the structure in that active region,” says Marin Anderson, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and GAVRT Solar Patrol scientist. 
      Anderson explains how, as the Moon blocks a portion of the active region, it’s easier to tell what part of the active region the radio emissions are coming from. 
      “It’s basically a way of probing magnetic field structures in the corona of the Sun in a way that we wouldn’t be able to unless an eclipse was happening.” 
      Anyone in the world can join the live-streamed webinar on April 8 from 1-3:30 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT) and ask the hosts questions as a partial eclipse becomes visible in California. Participants will be able to see the telescope controls, data visualization tools like Helioviewer, incoming radio data, a map of active hot spot regions, and imagery of the eclipsed Sun at radio wavelengths. 
      Eclipse maximum, as observed by GAVRT in radio waves at 6.00 GHz and 8.45 GHz, on October 14, 2023. Click the arrow to see the post-eclipse Sun. NASA/Thangasamy Velusamy Post-eclipse image of the Sun, as observed by GAVRT at 6.00 GHz and 8.45 GHz, on October 14, 2023. One of the active regions monitored by GAVRT during the eclipse is visible as the bright region in the lower left quadrant of the Sun. Click the arrow to see the eclipsed Sun. NASA/Thangasamy Velusamy

      GAVRT was awarded a NASA grant to carry out observations during both the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses in the U.S. GAVRT supports an open science framework by making all data and radio maps available for viewing and downloading by the public. Images collected during the eclipse will be posted online with instructions on how to run software and analyze the data. 
      The Solar Patrol team hopes the public webinar inspires people to become active members of the GAVRT program where they can learn to remotely operate the telescope themselves while taking part in data analysis and scientific discovery. 
      “I think one of the really great aspects of GAVRT Solar Patrol is that it connects any participant, but particularly students, with the Sun, beyond what they see and experience every day from the star,” Anderson says. “It’s seeing the Sun at radio wavelengths and being able to connect different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum with unique physics that’s happening on the Sun.”
      Since its launch in 1997, GAVRT has offered many opportunities to combine science observations with education and outreach. In addition to Solar Patrol, GAVRT is used in campaigns where participants can study Jupiter’s radiation belts, monitor radio emissions from black holes, or search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
      Anderson says giving students the tools to do science themselves empowers them. 
      “It’s a really hands-on process and I think the way to get kids excited and invested in not only solar science but the scientific process in general.” 
      To register for the GAVRT April 8 eclipse livestream event, visit: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4920123655757293655
      For other ways to get involved in GAVRT, including signing up a classroom to participate in observations, contact: mc@lcer.org or visit gavrt.lewiscenter.org.
      By Rose Brunning, Communications Lead
      NASA Heliophysics Digital Resource Library

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    • By NASA
      5 min read
      NASA-Funded Science Projects Tuning In to ‘Eclipse Radio’
      On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross parts of the United States. For millions of people along the path of totality, where the Moon will completely cover the Sun, it may feel like an eerie daytime darkness has descended as temperatures drop and wind patterns change. But these changes are mild compared to what happens some 100 to 400 miles above our heads in an electrically conductive layer of our atmosphere known as the ionosphere, where the “false night” of an eclipse is amplified a hundredfold. Three NASA-funded experiments will investigate the eclipse’s effects on the ionosphere through the power of radio, a technology well suited to studying this enigmatic layer of our atmosphere. 
      The Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse douses Umatilla National Forest in shadow, darkening the sky and rimming the horizon with a 360 degree sunset. NASA/Mara Johnson-Groh Whether you’ve heard of the ionosphere or not, you’ve likely taken advantage of its existence. This electric blanket of particles is critical for long-distance AM and shortwave radio. Radio operators aim their transmitters into the sky, “bouncing” signals off this layer and around the curvature of Earth to extend their broadcast by hundreds or even thousands of miles.
      The ionosphere is sustained by our Sun. The Sun’s rays separate negatively charged electrons from atoms, creating the positively charged ions that the ionosphere is named for. When night falls, over 60 miles of the ionosphere disappears as ions and electrons recombine into neutral atoms. Come dawn, the electrons are freed again and the ionosphere swells in the Sun’s illumination – a daily cycle of “breathing” in and out at a global scale.
      A total solar eclipse is a scientific goldmine – a rare chance to observe a natural experiment in action. On April 8 the three NASA-funded projects listed below are among those “tuning in” to the changes wrought by a blotted-out Sun.
      The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network, or SuperDARN, is a collection of radars located at sites around the world. They bounce radio waves off of the ionosphere and analyze the returning signal. Their data reveals changes in the ionosphere’s density, temperature, and location (i.e. movement).
      The 2024 eclipse will pass over three U.S.-based SuperDARN radars. A team of scientists led by Bharat Kunduri, a professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, have been busy preparing for it.
      An aerial view of a SuperDARN radar site outside Hays, Kansas. Credit: Fort Hays State University “The changes in solar radiation that occur during a total solar eclipse can result in a ’thinning’ of the ionosphere,” Kunduri said. “During the eclipse, SuperDARN will operate in special modes designed to monitor the changes in the ionosphere at finer spatiotemporal scales.”
      Kunduri’s team will compare SuperDARN’s measurements to predictions from computer models to answer questions about how the ionosphere responds to a solar eclipse.
      While some experiments rely on massive radio telescopes, others depend more on people power. The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation, or HamSCI, is a NASA citizen science project that involves amateur or “ham” radio operators. On April 8, ham radio operators across the country will attempt to send and receive signals to one another before, during, and after the eclipse. Led by Nathaniel Frissell, a professor of Physics and Engineering at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, HamSCI participants will share their radio data to catalog how the sudden loss of sunlight during totality affects their radio signals.
      Students work with Dr. Frissell in the ham radio lab on campus. Simal Sami ’24 (in orange), who is part of Scranton’s Magis Honors Program in STEM; Dr. Frissell; and Veronica Romanek ’23, a physics major. Photo by Byron Maldonado courtesy of The University of Scranton This experiment follows similar efforts completed during the 2017 total solar eclipse and the 2023 annular eclipse.
      “During the 2017 eclipse, we found that the ionosphere behaved very similar to nighttime,” Frissell said. Radio signals traveled farther, and frequencies that typically work best at night became usable. Frissell hopes to continue the comparison between eclipses and the day/night cycle, assessing how widespread the changes in the ionosphere are and comparing the results to computer models.
      Some radio signals don’t bounce off of the ionosphere – instead, they pass right through it. Our Sun is constantly roiling with magnetic eruptions, some of which create radio bursts. These long-wavelength bursts of energy can be detected by radio receivers on Earth. But first they must pass through the ionosphere, whose ever-changing characteristics affect whether and how these signals make it to the receiver.
      This radio image of the Sun was made with a radio telescope by astronomer Stephen White (University of Maryland). The radio emission was detected with the Very Large Array radio telescope at a wavelength of 4.6 GHz. The image shows bright regions (red and yellow) of million-degree gas above sunspots. Credit: Courtesy NRAO / AUI / NSF The RadioJOVE project is a team of citizen scientists dedicated to documenting radio signals from space, especially Jupiter. During the total solar eclipse, RadioJOVE participants will focus on the Sun. Using radio antenna kits they set up themselves, they’ll record solar radio bursts before, during, and after the eclipse.
      During the 2017 eclipse, some participants recorded a reduced intensity of solar radio bursts. But more observations are needed to draw firm conclusions. “With better training and more observers, we’ll get better coverage to further study radio propagation through the ionosphere,” said Chuck Higgins, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University and founding member of RadioJOVE. “We hope to continue longer-term observations, through the Heliophysics Big Year and beyond.”
      Find out more about the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse on NASA’s eclipse page.
      By Miles Hatfield
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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    • By NASA
      2 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      Educators test construction box pinhole projectors for solar eclipse viewing.Credit: NASA/Sara Lowthian-Hanna On Monday, April 8, Northeast Ohioans will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a total solar eclipse. During this rare natural phenomenon, the Moon will pass between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun and darkening the sky for nearly four minutes.
      Teachers, librarians, and community leaders from across Northeast Ohio came to NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on Jan. 29 to learn how to conduct eclipse events safely and effectively. NASA education program specialists taught educators about the science behind solar eclipses, connections to NASA’s study of the Sun, and eclipse-related student engagement activities.
      An educator tests a model of a total solar eclipse viewing device she constructed.Credit: NASA/Sara Lowthian-Hanna NASA subject matter experts taught the educators how to make pinhole projectors and models of the eclipse, and how ultraviolet (UV) beads react with UV light. They talked about eye and face protection including the importance of viewing the eclipse safely through glasses that comply with ISO 12312-2:2015.
      “During totality, unusual things can happen,” said Cathy Graves, STEM integration manager, Office of STEM Engagement. “Because it’s going to feel like its twilight outside, the animals in nature will feel confused. Birds that chirp during the day may get quiet, and animals that are active at night may become active during the day. There are many things children can look for and observe during the eclipse.”
      Educators from Northeast Ohio learn how to construct box pinhole projectors that their students can build and use to safely view the total solar eclipse.Credit: NASA/Sara Lowthian-Hanna Educators also had the opportunity to tour NASA Glenn’s Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory and Graphics and Visualization Lab. Many teachers say they left feeling inspired.
      “Today was awesome. This experience brought home why I do this, and I felt like the student,” said Monica Reese, science teacher, Cleveland Metropolitan School District. “Space is fascinating, and my students love it. I teach physical science, so it’s one of the units we teach. I usually teach it in the spring, but they want to know about it now!
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      4 min read
      Sense the Solar Eclipse with NASA’s Eclipse Soundscapes Project
      When darkness sweeps across the landscape during a total solar eclipse, unusual things start happening. Fooled by the false dusk, birds stop singing, crickets start chirping, and bees return to their hives.
      Reports of these atypical animal behaviors date back centuries, but the effects of an eclipse on plant and animal life are not fully understood. So, on April 8, 2024, the NASA-funded Eclipse Soundscapes Project will collect the sights and sounds of a total solar eclipse with help from interested members of the public to better understand how an eclipse affects different ecosystems.
      “Eclipses are often thought of as a visual event – something that you see,” said Kelsey Perrett, Communications Coordinator with the Eclipse Soundscapes Project. “We want to show that eclipses can be studied in a multi-sensory manner, through sound and feeling and other forms of observation.”
      A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, blocking its light from reaching parts of the planet. In areas where the Sun’s light is completely blocked – known as the path of totality – it looks as if dusk has fallen, temperatures drop, and some stars become visible. These changes can trick animals into altering their usual daytime behaviors. A total solar eclipse will pass over the heads of over 30 million people in North America on April 8, 2024, providing the perfect opportunity for a large-scale citizen science project.
      In April 2024, volunteers can join the Eclipse Soundscapes project to help NASA scientists better understand how wildlife is impacted by solar eclipses. Volunteers will gather sound recordings, make observations using any of their senses, and even help with data analysis from across the path of the eclipse. This video features interviews from Eclipse Soundscapes experts MaryKay Severino, Dr. William “Trae” Winter III, and Dr. William Oestreich, and highlights natural resource manager Dr. Chace Holzhueser at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, who will be conducting a similar study for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
      Credits: Lacey Young/NASA The Eclipse Soundscapes Project aims to replicate a similar study conducted by American scientist William M. Wheeler following a 1932 total solar eclipse that passed over the northeast reaches of Canada and the United States. The near-century-old study captured almost 500 observations from the public.
      The Eclipse Soundscapes Project hopes modern tools will replicate and expand upon that study to better understand animal and insect behavior. This will be achieved through multisensory observations, such as audio recordings and written accounts of what is seen, heard, or felt during the eclipse. The project, which is particularly interested in learning about cricket behavior, aims to answer questions like do nocturnal and diurnal animals act differently or become more or less vocal during a solar eclipse?
      “The more audio data and observations we have, the better we can answer these questions,” Perrett said. “Contributions from participatory scientists will allow us to drill down into specific ecosystems and determine how the eclipse may have impacted each of them.”
      An Eastern Lubber Grasshopper on a leaf. Federico Acevedo/National Park Service The Eclipse Soundscape project invites people to become involved with the study at all levels – from learning about eclipses online, to collecting multisensory observations and audio data, to analyzing the data – and in all locations, whether they’re on the path of totality or not. The project is open to people of all backgrounds and abilities. All project roles have been designed with accessibility in mind to invite people who are blind or have low vision to participate alongside their sighted peers. 
      People on or near the path of totality can participate as “Data Collectors” by using an AudioMoth device, a low-cost audio recording device called equipped with a micro-SD card, to capture the sounds of an eclipse. People can also participate as “Observers” by writing down their multisensory observations and submitting them to the project website after the eclipse. Anyone with an internet connection, can participate as an “Apprentice” by learning about eclipses or as a “Data Analyst” to help analyze the audio data after the eclipse. After completing an Eclipse Soundscapes role, a downloadable certificate will be available.
      An AudioMoth device hangs from a tree branch, ready to capture the sounds of an eclipse. Eclipse Soundscapes Project “When it comes down to it, answering our science questions about how eclipses impact life on Earth depends entirely on the data that people volunteer to contribute,” Perrett said. “Our participants, including our project partners and facilitators, allow us to span the entire eclipse path and collect way more data than would be possible for just one small team.”
      To learn more about the project and how to become involved, visit: https://eclipsesoundscapes.org/
      By Mara Johnson-Groh
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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