Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 12 submissions in the queue.
posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday August 09, @07:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the so-bright-I-have-to-wear-shades dept.

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has released an app for the upcoming August 21st solar eclipse:

With solar safety glasses available at every counter and an expected 2–7 million Americans traveling to the path of totality — the nearly 3,000-mile-long arc from the coast near Salem, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., in which a view of the total eclipse is possible — it is clear that eclipse fever has swept the country. Seeing an opportunity to educate and inspire a new wave of astronomers, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has released a smartphone app, [Smithsonian] Eclipse 2017, available on iOS and Android.

"We haven't had an eclipse cross the United States like this in nearly 100 years," says CfA spokesperson Tyler Jump. "Because it's such a rare and exciting event, we wanted to create an interactive guide that everyone could enjoy. Even if you're not in the path of totality, our app allows you to calculate exactly how much of an eclipse you'll be able to see and get a preview with our eclipse simulation. It's also a great opportunity to highlight some of Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's (SAO) solar research. SAO was founded in large part to study the sun, and we've been doing so now for more than a century."

The free app comes with a host of resources for the amateur astronomer. A comprehensive viewing guide offers a crash course in the science behind eclipses and instructions on how to safely observe the celestial phenomenon. Videos from the Solar Dynamics Observatory show the sun in different wavelengths, revealing the many layers of solar activity. Users can also access an interactive eclipse map, which gives lunar transit times and simulated views for any location in the United States.

Many libraries are giving out free eclipse-viewing glasses. You can also buy them from "reputable vendors" (they should meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard).

Various science experiments will take place during the eclipse.


Original Submission

Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough

Reply to Article

Mark All as Read

Mark All as Unread

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 09, @09:45AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 09, @09:45AM (#551041)

    Was expecting zombie apocalypse, but this will do.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday August 09, @12:09PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 09, @12:09PM (#551062)

      On the bright side, its rare that you can make a prediction "cross the United States like this in nearly 100 years" that on a specific date, Aug 21 2017, that it'll be rain all F-ing day.

      Even today with modern weather forecasting its still impressive that I know it'll rain twelve days from now.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 09, @08:15PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 09, @08:15PM (#551279)

    With solar safety glasses available

    I've seen several advisories saying that there are numerous vendors who are selling junk that doesn't meet a reasonable spec for this.
    Indirect methods are typically advised.

    A cheap-and-easy method is a pinhole camera.
    A long cardboard box that's big enough for a hole to stick your head into gives reasonable results.

    The size of the image is limited by the distance between the pinhole and the surface on which the image is projected.

    A room-sized pinhole camera gives better results.

    How to Safely See a Partial Solar Eclipse [skyandtelescope.com]

    A much better way to do pinhole projection can be arranged at a window indoors. Find a room with a Sun-facing window, turn out any lights, and pull the shades. Arrange for sunlight to enter through a small hole punched in a card near the top of the window. Set up a white piece of paper across the room to catch the Sun's image. Again, experiment with different size holes to get the best, sharpest view. (Of course, don't look through the hole directly at the Sun! Look only at the spot of light that falls on the paper.)

    If the Sun is too high in the sky for this, you can direct its image horizontally into the room by setting up a small, high-quality mirror on the sill of an open window. Hold the mirror in place with modeling clay. Tape your card with the hole right onto the mirror.

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 09, @09:31PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 09, @09:31PM (#551309) Journal

      Nah, use binoculars**

      They induce great comedy.
      The looks you get when you walk up with binoculars and the stern warnings and finger shaking you receive are priceless.

      **
      Put the binoculars (or large magnifying glass) on a tripod, a convenient distance from a white sheet of paper, adjusted so that the projected image is 3 to 6 inches in diameter. The image is easy to view, (just don't look through the binoculars).

      For kids, get a small white tablet, or spiral notebook. Pre-draw circles of a constant size centered on each page.
      Rig up and test something to prop up or mount your tablet solid enough to draw on it. located behind the binoculars.
      Have the kids outline the sun's projected image every 3 to 5 of minutes, each time on a new page.
      When done they have a flip chart of the eclipse that they made themselves.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 09, @08:22PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 09, @08:22PM (#551280)

    http://nationaleclipse.com/cities_partial.html#unitedstates [nationaleclipse.com]

    The table isn't especially well organized, but there's a bunch of cities listed.

    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday August 09, @09:39PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 09, @09:39PM (#551316) Journal

      Figure this out ahead of time,

      Because the chance of this app actually WORKING on eclipse day is virtually Nil. The Servers will be swamped, the cell towers hammered. The app won't run without cell sevice (just tried it in airplane mode), and everybody and their brother will be beating the net to death.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
(1)