Participate in Numerous Citizen Science Projects During the Eclipse

Citizen Science Projects, eclipse, Participate

The upcoming Great North America Solar Eclipse on April 8 is not only a breathtaking celestial event but also an opportunity for citizen scientists to contribute to valuable scientific research. Several eclipse-focused projects are set to make big scientific contributions during the eclipse, and there is still time for individuals to participate and contribute. In this article, we will explore some of these projects and how you can get involved.

One of the projects, GLOBE Eclipse, is a NASA-led global citizen science initiative that allows volunteers to engage in Earth science research through a smartphone app. By using the GLOBE Observer app, participants can document cloud types, track land cover, and record atmospheric conditions during the solar eclipse. This wide-ranging data collection supports Earth system science research and is accessible to anyone with a smartphone. The best part is that no specialized knowledge is required to participate.

Another project, Eclipse Soundscapes, funded by NASA Science Activation, aims to gather multi-sensory observations and sound data during the solar eclipse to study its impact on local ecosystems. Participants can contribute by taking recordings before, during, and after the eclipse, helping researchers understand how these events affect animal and plant behavior. This project is inclusive and designed for accessibility, inviting both sighted and visually impaired individuals to engage in eclipse science through sensory experiences.

Sunsketcher, a project led by NASA, tasks volunteers with measuring the Sun’s shape during the solar eclipse using a free smartphone app. Participants are asked to take timed photos to capture Baily’s Beads, which reveal insights into the Sun’s structure and test theories of gravity. By observing the solar eclipse, citizen scientists situated along the eclipse path can help reveal the precise shape of the solar disk and infer its inner structure.

The Eclipse Megamovie project involves capturing the dynamics of the solar corona during a total solar eclipse using DSLR cameras mounted to a tripod. Volunteers from multiple locations will collaborate to create a continuous movie of the eclipse, providing valuable data for scientific analysis. This project allows the public to participate in astronomical research and helps scientists gain a better understanding of the solar corona and its changes during an eclipse.

Citizen CATE 2024 is a citizen science project that aims to study the Sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, during the total solar eclipse. Volunteers will take images of the eclipse in polarized light, contributing to our understanding of the structures and changes in the corona. The resulting clips will be combined into a 60-minute movie, reflecting the magnetic structure of the Sun’s middle corona and revealing the electron density and how magnetic energy is converted into heat.

The Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast (DEB), a citizen science project led by Southern Illinois University Carbondale, involves small teams using telescopes to capture detailed images of the eclipse. These images will help scientists better understand the Sun’s moment-to-moment changes during the eclipse. Live stream links will be available for individuals to participate virtually and contribute to the research.

Radio JOVE is a NASA-led citizen science project that allows participants to observe and study radio emissions from the Sun and Jupiter using a simple radio telescope. By building their own radio telescope or using existing equipment, volunteers can contribute to enhancing our understanding of solar and planetary radio emissions. Practice sessions have already been completed, but individuals may still be able to catch some audible signs of the eclipse at the live feed.

HamSCI, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation, brings together the amateur radio community and professional scientists. Amateur radio operators participate in experiments to study the ionosphere’s response to changes in solar radiation during the solar eclipse. By recording signal strengths and communication ranges, ham radio enthusiasts provide data that helps scientists understand ionospheric variations. Individuals can inquire about joining this project to contribute to the research.

The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) 2024 experiment is a key focus of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) during the April 8 total solar eclipse. Roughly 40 community teams of citizen scientists will take continuous observations along the path of totality. NSF’s high-altitude research aircraft and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope will also conduct specialized observations, complemented by educational resources and programs for public and academic engagement.

The University of Texas at Dallas’ ScintPi Sensors Project utilizes ionospheric scintillation monitors, ScintPi sensors, originally designed to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere, for the upcoming total solar eclipse. These low-cost sensors gather data on ion density by receiving radio signals from satellites. During the eclipse, these sensors will be deployed to various locations, including sites within the path of totality, to collect crucial data. This effort provides an accessible way for citizen scientists to contribute to solar and ionospheric research.

In conclusion, the upcoming solar eclipse presents a unique opportunity for citizen scientists to contribute to valuable scientific research. Projects like GLOBE Eclipse, Eclipse Soundscapes, Sunsketcher, Eclipse Megamovie, Citizen CATE 2024, Radio JOVE, HamSCI, CATE 2024, and the ScintPi Sensors Project offer various ways for individuals to engage and participate. By taking part in these projects, citizen scientists can contribute to our understanding of Earth system science, local ecosystems, the Sun’s structure and changes, the solar corona, the ionosphere, and more. So, grab your smartphone, camera, or radio telescope, and join in the excitement of the upcoming solar eclipse by becoming a citizen scientist.

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