2017 Total Solar Eclipse Student Research Projects

This year is an exciting year, since BYU-Idaho is near the centerline for the total solar eclipse that will be occurring on August 21st, 2017.

We have some interesting projects that are connected to the eclipse that are happening this semester, and need some energetic, committed students to help use make these projects ready to go by the time of the eclipse. Here are a list of student projects that are available through the physics department:

1.  High-altitude balloon launch:  Brother Ryan Neilson is the mentor for this project where we are planning on launching a high-altitude balloon to near-space and film the eclipse with go-pro cameras.  We will also have other student designed type of instrumentation launched with the balloon.  This will be in collaboration with Weber State University in Utah. (https://www.highaltitudescience.com/ or visit the BYUI HART Facebook page @BYUI.HART)

Please go to https://commerce.cashnet.com/HART to buy your HART T-Shirt.

2.  SoundScapes:  Brother Jon Johnson will do an acoustical experiment by setting up microphones at several areas to record how the sounds change during the eclipse.  Day animals get quiet, night animals start to awaken, etc.  This will be done in collaboration with Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  Eclipse Soundscapes Project.

3.  Citizen CATE experiment:  Brother Stephen McNeil is the mentor for this experiment, where students will film the solar corona during totality (The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment: https://sites.google.com/site/citizencateexperiment/home/.  This is in collaboration with several other people where a film, roughly 90 minutes long, will be made of everyone's corona movie.

4. Modern Eddington Experiment: Brother Stephen McNeil is the mentor for this experiment where the goal is to get as many observers to take CCD images of the star field around the eclipsed Sun, and use their own data to test whether Einstein's prediction of gravitational bending of light is true.  We will do our observing here on campus.  http://deluxeeclipsetours.com/uncategorized/modern-eddington-experiment.

5. Sky-polarization Measurements: Dr. Joseph Shaw from Montana State University will be conducting an experiment near campus of measuring the polarization of the sky during the eclipse.  He is working with a few of our students through an REU this summer.  http://www.montana.edu/jshaw/

6. NASA Aeronet Project: Brother Todd Lines is actively engaged with students working on the NASA Aeronet project. The AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) program is a federation of ground-based remote sensing aerosol networks established by NASA.  The program provides a long-term, continuous public domain database of aerosol optical, microphysical and radiative properties for aerosol research and characterization https://aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov/ .

7. Eclipse Megamovie Project: Brother Jon Johnson is leading the Eclipse Megamovie Project which will gather images of the 2017 total solar eclipse from over 1,000 volunteer photographers and amateur astronomers. These media assets will be stitched together to create an expanded and continuous view of the total eclipse as it crosses the United States.  http://eclipsemega.movie

If you are interested in any of these projects, please contact the faculty over that project.

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