Technology How Blind Astronomers Will Observe the Solar Eclipse

21:50  05 august  2017
21:50  05 august  2017 Source:   The Atlantic

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

  Revealed: What the Sun's Outer Atmosphere Will Look Like During 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. The World's Richest Agree: This Will Impact Everything See The Tech Sponsored by The Motley Fool 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.

Doucette, armed with his camera equipment, will observe the eclipse with dozens of members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Halifax Center, an association of amateur and professional astronomers . He has only witnessed partial solar eclipses in the past.

Indeed, many scientists (including astronomers !) have been inspired to study science as a result of seeing a total solar eclipse . Your local planetarium, science center, or amateur astronomy club can provide additional information on how to observe the eclipse safely.

Eclipses are a total sensory experience even for those who can’t see them.© Getty Images Eclipses are a total sensory experience even for those who can’t see them. Like millions of other people, Wanda Diaz Merced plans to observe the August 21 total solar eclipse, when the moon’s shadow will sweep across the sun and, for a few brief moments, coat parts of the United States in darkness. But she won’t see it. She’ll hear it.

Diaz Merced, an astrophysicist, is blind, with just 3 percent of peripheral vision in her right eye, and none in her left. She has been working with a team at Harvard University to develop a program that will convert sunlight into sound, allowing her to hear the solar eclipse. The sound will be generated in real time, changing as the dark silhouette of the moon appears over the face of the bright sun, blocking its light. Diaz Merced will listen in real time, too—with her students at the Athlone School for the Blind in Cape Town, South Africa, where she teaches astronomy.

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. 

How to observe an eclipse safely. Solar eclipse : 20 march 2015. Solar eclipse , October 2014, by Leman Northway. Astronomers use special solar telescopes or filters to view the Sun directly, but most of us do not have access to these types of equipment.

A solar eclipse is arguably the most spectacular astronomical event that anyone will experience in their lives. There is a great deal of interest in watching eclipses , and thousands of astronomers (both amateur and professional) and other eclipse enthusiasts travel around the world to observe and

“It’s an experience of a lifetime, and they deserve the opportunity,” Diaz Merced said.

To capture the auditory version of this astronomical event, the team turned to a piece of technology measuring only a couple inches long: the Arduino, a cheap microcomputer popular with tech-savvy, DIY hobbyists. With a few attachments, Arduinos can be used to create all kinds of electronic devices that interact with the physical world, from the useful, like finger scanners that unlock garage doors, to the silly, like motion-detecting squirt guns. Diaz Merced’s collaborators equipped an Arduino with a light-detecting sensor and speaker, and programmed it to convert light into a clicking noise. The pace of the clicks varies with the intensity of the sunlight hitting the sensor, speeding up as it strengthens and slowing down as it dims. In the moments of totality, when the sun’s outer atmosphere appears as a thin ring around the shadow of the moon, the clicks will be a second or more apart.

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.

This compact Hydrogen-alpha scope will enhance your observing as the solar eclipse approaches. VIDEO HIGHLIGHT: How to safely observe the Sun. Double your observing fun with a few accessories that allow you to safely study our stellar neighbor.

Seasoned eclipse observers and astronomers who know what they’re doing sometimes use aluminized Mylar sheeting. [ How to Look at the Sun and Not Go Blind (Infographic)]. Pinhole camera/projector and telescope — pinhole projector. The safest way to view solar eclipses using

Allyson Bieryla, an astronomy lab and telescope manager at Harvard, will operate the Arduino from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, inside the path of totality. She will stream the audio on a website online, which Diaz Merced will open on her computer in Cape Town.

So far, Bieryla says, “the real challenge has been trying to find a light sensor that’s sensitive enough to get the variation in the eclipse.” In totality, the sun will appear about as bright as a full moon at midnight. The team has tested the Arduino at night, under the moonlight, to make sure it can pick up the faint luminosity.

Diaz Merced, a postdoctoral fellow at the Office of Astronomy for Development in South Africa, was diagnosed with diabetes as a child. In her early 20s, when she was studying physics at the University of Puerto Rico, she was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, a complication of the disease that destroys blood vessels in the retina. Her vision began to deteriorate, and a failed laser surgery damaged her retinas further, she said. By her late 20s, she was almost completely blind. She recalls watching a partial solar eclipse in 1998 in Puerto Rico, when she still had some sight.

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).

[Total Solar Eclipse 2017: When, Where and How to See It (Safely)]. These are called Baily's beads (after Francis Baily, the British astronomer who discovered them). Viewers who want to observe the total solar eclipse with the naked eye should try to move closer to the center of the path, so there is

To view the solar eclipse safely, use specially-made eclipse viewing glasses, or a dedicated solar telescope. You can purchase dedicated solar telescopes that observe the Sun at a single wavelength of light, such as hydrogen-alpha, thereby blocking out all the harmful light.

“I was able to experience the wonderfulness—of the sun being dark, of having a black ball in the sky,” she said. “That is why it is important to use the sound in order to bring an experience that will bring that same feeling to people who do not see or are not visually oriented.”

  How Blind Astronomers Will Observe the Solar Eclipse © Paul Spella / The Atlantic While Diaz Merced experiences the eclipse from a classroom in Cape Town, Tim Doucette will observe the event at a campground in Nebraska, smack-dab in the path of totality. Doucette is a computer programmer by day and an amateur astronomer by night. He runs a small observatory, Deep Sky, near his home in Nova Scotia in a sparsely populated area known for low light pollution and star-studded night skies.

Doucette is legally blind, and has about 10 percent of his eyesight. He had cataracts as a baby, a condition that clouds the lenses of the eye. To treat the disease, doctors surgically removed the lenses, leaving Doucette without the capacity to filter out certain wavelengths. His eyes are sensitive to ultraviolet and infrared light, and he wears sunglasses during the day to protect his retinas. Without shades, Doucette said he can’t keep his eye open in the brightness of day.  But at night, his sensitivity becomes an advantage. With the help of a telescope, Doucette can see the near-infrared light coming from stars and other objects in the sky better than most people.

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.

Credit: Jim Schaff. Astronomy , Eclipses , Live Broadcasts, Moon, Observing , Skywatching, sun. To view a partial solar eclipse , a safe solar filter is necessary. Credit: Wikipedia. Weekly Space Hangout – June 2, 2017: Mike Simmons of Astronomers Without Borders.

You've probably been told that it isn't safe to stare at the sun and that watching a solar eclipse without proper eye protection can make you go blind . See how to safely observe a solar eclipse with this Space.com infographic.

“My whole life, I’ve always been asking people for help, saying, ‘hey, what do you see?’” Doucette said. “When I stargaze with people, the tables are reversed.”

Doucette sees best at night, safe from the glare of the sun. He uses starlight to guide him during the short walk from his observatory to his home. “When I’m walking down the road, especially during the summer months, the Milky Way is just this incredible painting going from north to south,” he said. “It’s millions and millions of points of light. It’s like a tapestry of diamonds against a velvety background.”

Doucette, armed with his camera equipment, will observe the eclipse with dozens of members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Halifax Center, an association of amateur and professional astronomers. He has only witnessed partial solar eclipses in the past. “It should be quite interesting to see what the effect is because of my sensitivity,” he said. During totality, when day becomes night, some objects in the sky may become visible, thanks to his sensitivity to their light.

Doucette will wear eclipse sunglasses over his regular pair. Eclipse glasses protect the eyes from sunlight so viewers can look directly at it without hurting their eyes, and they can be bought online for a few dollars. Doucette urged eclipse viewers to use them, citing stories he’d heard of people looking at the sun during an eclipse and waking up blind the next morning, their retinas burned. The shades are necessary before and after totality, when the sun is only partially eclipsed and a thin crescent shines with typical intensity.

“Once the eclipse is in totality for about two and a half minutes, I’m told that it’s safe to take the glasses off, but I’m not willing to risk it,” Doucette said. “I’ll still keep my sunglasses on either way.”

More than spectacle: Eclipses create science and so can you .
The sun is about to spill some of its secrets, maybe even reveal a few hidden truths of the cosmos.&nbsp;Astronomers are going full blast to pry even more science from the mysterious ball of gas that's vital to Earth. They'll look from the ground, using telescopes, cameras, binoculars and whatever else works. They'll look from the International Space Station and a fleet of 11 satellites in space. And in between, they'll fly three planes and launch more than 70 high-altitude balloons .

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