May 19, 2024

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Become a NASA Scientist During a solar eclipse, volunteers are needed

Become a NASA Scientist During a solar eclipse, volunteers are needed

If you've always wanted to become a NASA scientist, this is your chance. NASA is involved in several scientific research projects that need your help if you're on the path to totality during the total eclipse of America on April 8.

The equipment required is as simple as a cell phone for one project or as advanced as programming in the computer language Python for another. Other projects require anything from a computer to a camera to a telescope.

“How many times can the average citizen say, ‘I should be a NASA scientist for today’ with the equipment already in their pockets?” Astrophysicist and principal researcher at SunSketcher, Gordon Emsley Requested. “We will use their data, and their data will make a difference.”

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Measure the size and shape of the sun

The easiest project for citizen scientists to get involved in is SunSketcher. Simply download an app to your smartphone, prop it up or place it on a tripod and start recording before the eclipse. The app does the rest. All downloaded images will allow scientists to measure the shape of the Sun and you will be able to keep your eclipse photos.

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“Our sun is not a perfectly perfect sphere. Knowing the true shape of our sun would give scientists new clues about its mysterious interior and test theories of gravity,” NASA wrote. “But specifically Measuring the shape of this massive, almost circular object was difficult – So far.”

Your help can help teach astrophysicists how to predict solar storms more accurately. The corona, the upper part of the Sun's atmosphere, becomes visible when the Moon blocks sunlight.

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“The event represents an ideal opportunity to highlight phenomena such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, or the billion-ton clouds of magnetized plasma emanating from the Sun,” NASA wrote. “To learn more about its dynamics, researchers must study a region of the Sun that reveals itself during an eclipse, the corona.”

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“With sunspots, solar flares, and mass emission, you can get aurora borealis, and if a really powerful solar event or flare, as it's called, targets the Earth, you can get a billion tons of material traveling toward the Earth at a million,” Emsley said. mph.” This has serious potential to disrupt satellites, both in terms of communications capabilities. It can cause the collapse of electricity networks and the explosion of transformers.”

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He said that the ability to predict these events is essential for our technology-dependent society. To predict solar storms, scientists need to know more about the flows inside the Sun that produce flares.

Solar telescopes can create an artificial eclipse using a disk called a coronagraph. However, according to NASA, the man-made corona also obscures the Sun's inner corona, where coronal ejections originate. The moon makes a better wreath overall.

SunSketcher will also take precise measurements of Baily's beads — flashes of the sun shining through valleys on the moon's surface — to measure the size and shape of the sun. He said that images of points of light around the moon may not look impressive to the average observer, but the phone and the app can determine the time in which the flashes appear and disappear in milliseconds.

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“So the only way to get data that is only a few minutes long is by combining information from many different people,” Emsley said. “We need a lot of volunteers because everyone is looking at the sun from a slightly different angle, at a slightly different time, and therefore, we are building a much larger set of data that we can use than any observer could create on his own.”

You can subscribe, download the app, or learn more at SunSketcher.org.

He continued that this would not have been possible 10 to 15 years ago because cell phone cameras, timing and GPS information were not good.

NASA launches rockets into the moon's shadow during the great eclipse in North America

Study of the interior of the sun

Look no further than the ocean to understand how scientists can learn about the flows and physics inside the Sun by studying its outer surface.

“Just as waves and turbulence under the Earth's oceans cause ripples on the ocean, and earthquakes in the Earth can cause ripples on the Earth's surface, the constant flow and ripple of gas beneath the Sun's surface appears as waves and turbulence at the edge of the Sun and thus affects On the figure.” “It turns out that even the very subtle differences have important reasons behind them. “By studying the detailed shape, we learned about the interior of the Sun.”

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This eclipse will be more exciting because the sun is at the peak of its 11-year solar cycle.

Emsley added: “The Sun is much more active than it was during the last eclipse in 2017. It should show more interesting features.” “And just for people looking at the eclipse, you're going to see more interesting things. These prominences, the diamond rings, the pink chromosphere are going to be more interesting.”

Emslie confirmed to FOX Weather that only GPS coordinates, time and recorded photos will be downloaded. No personal or identifying data will be captured.

Other NASA projects include making Megamove 2024 eclipse.

Citizen scientists will be taking more photos of the corona through other projects as well.