Planes, Satellites and Balloons! How Scientists Will Watch the 2017 Eclipse

From the public: Citizen CATE (National Solar Observatory)


Students and amateur scientists from coast to coast will use more than 60 identical telescopes as part of the Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) Experiment. The goal is to see how the corona evolves during a 90-minute period, showing the plasma changes in the inner corona for the first time. You can read more about how to get involved here:

From the public: The QuantumWeather Project


This is an undertaking involving 100 surface stations, three drones and nine radiosondes (instruments that make measurements by radio) that will gather data before, during and after the eclipse. The group aims to measure changes in Earth's lower atmosphere and surface during the eclipse. This project is also supported by the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF-EPSCOR). It's led by Robert Pasken, a meteorologist at Saint Louis University. You can read more about how to get involved here: 

From the public: Life Responds (California Academy of Sciences)

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When the solar eclipse passes over your location, watch how animals are behaving! Past observations have noted birds sleeping during the daytime and confusion among cats and dogs. You can read more about how to get involved here:

From the public: EclipseMob VLF/LF Experiment


Radio receivers will be deployed across the country to see how the ionosphere changes during the eclipse. This is a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts and George Mason University with cooperation from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) and the Georgia Institute of Technology. You can read more about how to get involved here:

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: