Scientists are coming from all over the world to perform tests and experiments during the time of the eclipse, according to the Idaho State Journal. However, there are many students here that will be doing their own tests.
Zachary Brasier, a senior studying physics, is working with a telescope during the eclipse. He will be examining the sun’s surface and the sun’s solar corona.
“The solar corona (is) like a halo of plasma (around a star),” Brasier said. “It’s above the surface of the sun, and it’s this highly magnetized charged gas layer that we can observe. It’s a big deal because it actually is one of the unexplained physics mysteries that we have in our solar system. It is a lot hotter than it should be.”
Brasier and a few other students are working on a project called Citizen CATE. This project is being conducted across the country by the National Solar Observatory.
There will be 60 telescopes in line with the eclipse, according to eclipse2017.nso.edu. “The goal of CATE is to produce a scientifically unique data set: high-resolution, rapid cadence white light images of the inner corona for 90 minutes.”
Brasier and his team will be recording the eclipse for two and a half minutes and will submit their footage to the Citizen CATE project.
“We have a telescope; we are putting a solar filter on it because you cannot look at the sun with a telescope; you will burn your eyes,” Brasier said. “Our solar filter cuts out 99 percent of the light coming from the sun. Even with the eclipse, you have to do something like that. So, what we will do is attach a CDC camera to the telescope and point it at the sun. We have a motor on it that keeps the telescope moving with the sun.”
Aileen Godfrey, a senior studying physics, will be conducting a study by using weather balloons. The experiment itself is called the high altitude balloon project. Godfrey will be working alongside her physics professor and a few other students to study the atmosphere during the solar eclipse.
“We are collecting a bunch of data,” Godfrey said. “We will be looking at what the temperature is like as you go up the atmosphere, what’s the pressure like, what size and how many air particulates are in the atmosphere.”
In order to properly conduct the experiment, Godfrey said she will be conducting a trial run in June. They will be figuring out which balloon to use, how to fly it, track it, and what to put on it.
“We are getting 360-degree footage of the solar eclipse from the stratosphere,” Godfrey said. “We are going to have six GoPros on this rig and trying to figure out how to get the footage. In addition to that, I am sending up, in the balloon, a particulate sensor.”