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A year after the Great American Solar Eclipse, enthusiasm is high for the next go-round. Partial eclipses will cast their shadow on the United States in 2021 and 2023, and a total eclipse will once again grace the country in 2024. Last year's eclipse provided incredible science and opportunities for public outreach, and the lessons learned from the event will help to make future eclipses run even more smoothly.
"There was a very positive reaction to the eclipse, maybe more positive than we truly appreciated," C. Alex Young, associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told Space.com by email. As the lead organizer for NASA's national eclipse plan, Young spent several years preparing for the astronomical event, and he continues to discuss it when he gives public talks.
Year - Solar - Eclipse - Aug - Data
One year after the Great American Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, data is still coming back. Here, the "diamond-ring effect" is seen during the eclipse. This photo was taken from a NASA Gulfstream III aircraft flying 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) over the Oregon coast.
On Aug. 21, 2017, most of the continental United States watched as the moon moved between Earth and the sun. While the bulk of the continent experienced at least a partial eclipse, those in the 70-mile (113 kilometers) path of totality that crossed 14 states experienced an incredible event as, for about 2 minutes at the path's center, the sun was completely covered.
Moments - Body - Hidden - Outer - Atmosphere
Those fleeting moments, with the solar body hidden, revealed the tenuous outer atmosphere of the sun. During this time, scientists scrambled to make on-the-ground observations that are possible only during a total eclipse.
Matt Penn, of the National Solar Observatory, studied the region of the sun's atmosphere called the corona as part of the Citizen Continental America Telescope Eclipse (CATE) Experiment....
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