Technology Revealed: What the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Will Look Like During the Total Solar Eclipse

00:10  05 august  2017
00:10  05 august  2017 Source:   Space.com

The time-honored, eye-searing tradition of staring directly at a solar eclipse

  The time-honored, eye-searing tradition of staring directly at a solar eclipse The solar eclipse taking place later this August is expected to send millions of people flocking to communities along the phenomenon’s path. 

21 total solar eclipse only a few weeks away, astronomers have revealed what the sun ' s outer atmosphere is likely to look like as the sun disappears behind the During a total solar eclipse , skywatchers have the opportunity to see the sun ' s glowing outer atmosphere , known as the corona.

[2010 Total Solar Eclipse Photos]. Atmosphere of the sun . Sun ' s corona revealed . The NASA photo of the July 11 solar eclipse is a mosaic of three images layered on top of each other.

Researchers from the National Solar Observatory Integrated Synoptic Program predict the structure of the solar corona for the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse. The field lines of a solar coronal magnetic model shown in the image are based on measurements taken one solar rotation, or 27.2753 Earth days, before the total solar eclipse© NSO/NSF Researchers from the National Solar Observatory Integrated Synoptic Program predict the structure of the solar corona for the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse. The field lines of a solar coronal magnetic model shown in the image are based on measurements taken one solar rotation, or 27.2753 Earth days, before the total solar eclipse

With the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse only a few weeks away, astronomers have revealed what the sun's outer atmosphere is likely to look like as the sun disappears behind the moon.

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The Aug. 21 eclipse will sweep across the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina along a stretch of land about 70 miles (113 kilometers) wide. Skywatchers within this path will experience totality, when the moon appears to move directly in front of the solar disk and casts a long shadow on Earth. Viewers outside of the path of totality will still experience a partial solar eclipse.

What do Americans think of the eclipse?

  What do Americans think of the eclipse? <p>Later this month, the U.S. will experience a total solar eclipse, a rare occurrence, and most Americans are interested in possibly trying to get a glimpse of it.</p>Sixty-eight percent are interested enough in the eclipse to say they plan to or may try to see it, including a third who are excited about it. Three in 10 say they won't be paying much attention to it.

Home Sun & Moon Eclipses Total Solar . What Is a Total Solar Eclipse ? During a total eclipse of the Sun , the Moon covers the entire disk of the Sun . Protect Your Eyes! Never look directly at the Sun , eclipsed or otherwise, without proper protective eyewear.

Look away from the shrinking solar crescent — has there been a change in the color of the sky and clouds since the eclipse began? You’ll likely spot the Sun ’ s corona (its outer atmosphere ) on the side opposite the crescent.

During a total solar eclipse, skywatchers have the opportunity to see the sun's glowing outer atmosphere, known as the corona. The jets and streamers present in the corona become visible because the moon blots out much of the bright light of the sun's disk, which typically overwhelms the light from the corona. [How to Safely Watch the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse]

The corona is more than a glowing halo of light. It is incredibly hot — it can reach temperatures of 3.5 million degrees Kelvin (3.49 million degrees Celsius or 6.29 million degrees Fahrenheit) — and has an intricate structure created by the sun's magnetic-field lines.

Using measurements from the National Solar Observatory Integrated Synoptic Program (NSO/NISP), astronomers were able to model the shape of the solar coronal magnetic field as of July 25, which represents one solar rotation, or 27.2753 Earth days, before the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse.

Amazon is issuing refunds to customers who purchased suspect solar eclipse glasses

  Amazon is issuing refunds to customers who purchased suspect solar eclipse glasses Amazon is refunding customer purchases for protective solar eclipse glasses that it hasn’t been able to confirm come from a reputable manufacturer, according to a safety notification from the company. Excitement has been building for the upcoming solar eclipse across the United States on August 21st, and would-be eclipse viewers have purchased protective glasses from retailers such as Amazon.com. However, not all of the glasses found on the site are safe to use, with some vendors selling counterfeit or unsafe versions. Amazon appears to have been cracking down on these suspect glasses.

The light from the solar body drowns out the fainter corona, the outer atmospheric layer of the star, a wispy region that becomes visible when the moon completely blocks the face of the sun during a total solar eclipse .

We take a look at what you can expect during tomorrow morning' s solar eclipse . Easily one of nature’ s most beautiful events, total solar eclipses are a rare sight for many. When a solar eclipse occurs, what you’re witnessing is the Earth, Moon and Sun aligning.

"Since we are exactly one solar rotation away from the solar eclipse, we're able to use today's observations to predict the structure of the corona on Aug. 21st," Gordon Petrie, an astronomer from the NSO, said in a statement. "The corona is not likely to change too much between now and the eclipse, unless we get lucky and a large active region appears!"

"We expect to see faint, straight structures protruding from the north and south poles of the sun — these are the polar plumes," Petrie added. "We will be able to see brighter bulbs of material closer to the equator — these are called helmet streamers."

Electric currents inside the sun generate a magnetic field that changes over time, depending on where the sun is in its 11-year activity cycle. Astronomers are able to trace the magnetic fields of the corona by observing the superheated gases present in the sun's atmosphere. Astronomers compare this technique to "the middle-school experiment where you sprinkle iron filings over a bar magnet to get a butterfly shape," according to the statement.

The Scientific Benefits Of Total Solar Eclipses

  The Scientific Benefits Of Total Solar Eclipses <p>If you’ve never seen a solar eclipse before, you should make an effort to witness the breathtaking event on August 21.</p>Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun so that it blocks part or all of the sunlight as viewed from a particular location on our planet. Earth is the only planet in the solar system where this can happen in this way. This is because of the moon’s size and its relative distance from the sun – when viewed from the Earth, it can identically cover the bright solar disc to reveal the tenuous, wispy outer atmosphere of the star (called the solar corona).

Thanks to the people at the National Solar Observatory, we now have an idea of what the shape of the Sun ' s outer atmosphere will look like during the coast-to-coast solar eclipse . Check out that image courtesy of the U.S. public research institute at the top of the page.

For example, a total solar eclipse provides an opportunity for scientists to look at the sun ' s corona, or outer atmosphere , which will appear as rays of white light surrounding the moon. The sun ' s corona can reveal information about solar flares, coronal mass ejections and the solar wind

"The corona changes its shape over time, and looks drastically different during solar maximum compared to solar minimum," David Boboltz, the National Science Foundation's program officer for the NSO, said in the statement. "During solar maximum, such as the 2012 eclipse, the corona looks like a spiky ring around the entire sun. In contrast, a solar minimum eclipse such as the one this month, will have lots of complexity near the equator but will be drastically different near the north and south poles of the sun."

While skywatchers in the path of totality will experience no more than 2 minutes and 40 seconds of darkness in any one location, scientists will be able to combine observations taken of the sun's corona over the course of 90 minutes — the time it takes the moon's dark shadow to travel from the West Coast to the East Coast. This will allow astronomers to further study the corona and its structure.

What's more, the NSO is also helping to build the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) on the Hawaiian island of Maui, which will allow scientists to measure the magnetic fields in the solar corona directly for the first time, according to the statement.

What Solar Eclipses Have Taught Us About the Universe

  What Solar Eclipses Have Taught Us About the Universe Total solar eclipses like the one that will cross the U.S. on Aug. 21 have captured the attention of astronomers throughout history — and have often led to advances in our understanding of how the universe works.&nbsp;Total solar eclipses like the one that will cross the U.S. on Aug. 21 have captured the attention of astronomers throughout history — and have often led to advances in our understanding of how the universe works.

During a total solar eclipse , the sun ’ s twisted atmosphere will be revealed , stars will be visible and the temperature can drop 10 or more degrees. While these features tend to dominate most people's total eclipse experience, there is much more to see if you know what to look for.

Total Solar Eclipse Animation. Solar eclipses result from the alignment of the Sun , Moon, and Earth. During totality , the Moon completely blocks the Sun , dusk falls, and the outer atmosphere of the Sun becomes visible as a wispy ring around the Moon.

"The solar corona is largely an enigma," Valentin Pillet, director of the NSO, said in the statement. "For now, the best we can do is compare high resolution images of the solar corona, such as those we'll obtain during the eclipse, to our theoretical models. But DKIST will allow us to actually measure the magnetic fields in the corona. This will be revolutionary in the field of solar physics."

Follow Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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All Eyes on the Sun's Mysteriously Superhot Corona During Great American Eclipse .
The total solar eclipse that will span the US on Aug. 21 will give scientists a clear look at the solar corona, an atmospheric halo of plasma that is 200 times hotter than the sun's surface.On Aug. 21, tens of millions of Americans and visitors will be in the path of a total solar eclipse that will race coast-to-coast across the country from Oregon to South Carolina, the first to cross the continent in almost 100 years.

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