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This Summer’s Blockbuster: A Total Solar Eclipse

Posted on July 12th, 2017 by in New Materials & Applications

Solar Flare

Image by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center via Goddard Media Studios

Treat yourself or your budding young scientists to something truly amazing this summer, a total solar eclipse. Here’s how to be ready on August 21, 2017, when the entire United States will experience the phenomenon from the west to east coasts.

An celestial opportunity like this could be once in a lifetime. The last total solar eclipse in the USA was in 1918. Fortunately, you have six weeks to prepare and the folks at NASA and their partners have put together a wealth of information to help you not only get ready, but let you safely enjoy the event.

Since the entire United States will be covered by the eclipse to varying extents, you’re not likely to at least notice some unusual darkness during your day. If you are fascinated by astronomy like me, NASA’s Total Eclipse 2017 website is a great place to learn everything you need to know about the event and find out what you can expect in your location. Their Interactive Map website built on Google Maps enables you to place markers to know the starting, maximum, and ending time of the eclipse at your location. For Massachusetts, it begins about 1:30 PM EDT.

Curious to see a simulation of what the eclipse looks like from your location? Head on over to NASA Jet Propulsion Lab’s “Eyes on Eclipse” web app and use the menus to enter your zip code. You’ll not only see an animation of how the sun will appear over time, but the track the sun and moon traverse across the continent over time. And for those addicted to their favorite handheld device, ‘there’s an app for that’.

From events to activities, and resources to the underlying science, the NASA website has everything you need to get the most of the total solar eclipse. Here’s a brief video to get you started:

The general public and the scientific community is fortunate to have organizations like NASA and their partners who care enough to share their time and knowledge so willingly. For me, it was the Apollo space missions that captured my imagination and sparked a lifelong interest in astronomy and the stars. Perhaps you can be there at the formative stage for the next generation on August 21st – not to be eclipsed.

What do you plan to do to celebrate Eclipse 2017? Tell us about your quest for unconventional knowledge and what it could mean for the future of your products or companies. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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