July 25, 2017
Writer: David Payne
Many people focus on what they will see during the eclipse, not necessarily what they will hear.
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is combining thousands of audio recordings by everyday people of the soundscapes during The Great American Eclipse.
Jon Paul Johnson, a faculty member in the Physics Department at BYU-Idaho and a few of his students plan to study these sounds before, during and after the eclipse.
"We will have students take field recorders out during the eclipse," said Johnson. "We will have one or two stations that do a live stream."
These BYU-Idaho students will be in different places including Oregon, Nebraska, Wyoming, and of course, in Rexburg. Microphones will capture sounds near places like a livestock center and a beehive.
"There's some evidence from previous eclipses decades ago that bees change their behavior during the eclipse and we would like to see if we can expand our knowledge on that," said Johnson. "Part of the draw to science for people is to expand our knowledge as a society. So just feeling like you are a part of a project that is pushing the boundaries of what we know is a great feeling."
This project is open to the public and will use a specially designed app to record environmental sounds before, during and after the eclipse. More information about this project can be found on the Eclipse Soundscapes website.
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