Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lectures
The Great American Eclipse
Dr. Laura Peticolas, Space Science Laboratory, UC Berkeley
For the first time since 1918, there will be a total solar eclipse crossing the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic on August 21, 2017. This astronomical event will bring people from around the world to the United States to experience and to perform scientific research experiences, while also creating a motivation for communities throughout the U.S. to understand simple orbital dynamics, the dynamic Sun as a star, and the practices of astronomical research. Since 2011, a team of solar scientists, eclipse chasers, educators, outreach professionals, and filmmakers have been working toward a dream of gathering images from—and ultimately for—the public during the 2017 eclipse across the United States. The goal of this project is to collect these images for use by the public, including scientists, to create an “Eclipse Megamovie” of the corona from images taken from Oregon to South Carolina. An archive of all the images will be used for research on the Sun’s corona as well as science education, art, and videos—all to enhance the experience of the eclipse. Dr. Peticolas will provide an overview of the upcoming 2017 total solar eclipse, describe some potential scientific research that will result during this eclipse, and invite members of the audience to participate in gathering images for the Eclipse Megamovie by becoming volunteers.