An astronomical event 99 years in the making — the total solar eclipse is slated to move across the country on Aug. 21. Now, researchers are preparing to capture it.
Researchers from Louisiana State University and Southern Illinois University powered up a high altitude balloon. Inside is a camera. That camera will capture the shadow of the solar eclipse as it moves across the ground. It will offer a rare glimpse into the inside of the corona, the aura of plasma that surrounds the sun.
Scientists said, from the SIU campus, people will be able to see the moon cross fully in front of the sun in such a way that you will not be able to see any sun at all.
Before the big day, though, researchers tested out their equipment and made note of any kinks or challenges in the process.
The group is led by Dr. Gregory Guzik, from LSU. Together, they stretched the balloon, then verified that its breakers were working properly, and finally made sure the video was received by the people on the ground.
"In ancient times, a solar eclipse was viewed as a very scary thing because all of a sudden, the sky blacks out,” said Guzik, “but here in modern times, we view this as a lot of good science."
The team will return to the SIU campus for the real deal on August 21. The event will be open to the public. So, the community will have a chance to see the balloon release for themselves.