Some Pretty Cool Science Is Gonna Happen During The Eclipse

On August 21, mid-morning, Pacific time, the city of Salem, Oregon slides into the shadows. The moon slips slowly and inexorably into the sun, and the light of our star will gradually diminish. Filtered through the foliage, the sunlight appears on the ground like a little crescent.

As more of the solar disc disappears, the ripples of light and darkness are called “shadow bands” move on the ground, the way the sun seems to glow in the bottom of a pool. They are considered with the total eclipse to come. The birds hurry back to the hangers.

Then at 10 o’clock 15, in one of the most unusual coincidences in any celestial mechanics, the Moon completely block the sun’s disk. In the last few seconds, a dazzling ray of light, known as the diamond ring name, will remain: sunlight passing through the lunar valleys in. The insects and staggering chirtreront like it was the dark. The temperature drop.

At that time, Oregon’s landscape will be drained of color. Only the Sun’s atmosphere, called the crown will be visible, which appears as a crown of ghostly light licked by the pink and red flames.

Only when all you can see these tentacles come to Earth and affect our daily life as much as any part of our star. The sky looks like dancing, four other planets out of their hiding place after daylight, and millions of Americans will discover their first total solar eclipse.

Jay Pasachoff will experience his 34th. He is a professor of astronomy at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and the man who may have seen more eclipses than any human being in history.

At his best, he was a freshman Harvard student who was fortunate enough to be sitting on a plane from the Northeastern Boston Airlines in 1959. For the Aug. 21 eclipse, it will probably be in Salem Of her Nikon 500mm, photograph the crown once again.

“There is something important to be outdoors when, during a period of less than an hour, it becomes dark, the light becomes very strange, the colors change. You know something strange is happening,” Pasachoff said recently.

“Then suddenly it becomes 10,000 times darker at the last minute.You see yourself in the sky, and there are strange things.There is a diamond ring that surrounds this dark hole in the sky.Everyone who is seen overwhelmed “.

The eclipse will be a time of great national interest. For astronomers like Pasachoff, it will be a very significant moment of science. This is the first total eclipse to cross the continental United States since 1918, and the first to touch any part of the United States.

Since 1979. Its “trajectory of wholeness” – the narrow zone, where the moon completely blocks the sun and cast a shadow on the ground – will fall to the ground exclusively in the United States.

This is the first eclipse to do since 1776. Millions of people living on the path of totality; Americans in all states, including Alaska and Hawaii, will see at least a partial eclipse.

All the time, scientists studying eclipses will buzz around your computer to take the measurement of the sun, its atmosphere and its interaction with the atmosphere.

An event that could inspire a unique sense of cosmic communion will also respond to the burning of questions about how our star works and how it affects us.