Investigating space weather effects of the 2017 solar eclipse

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 10:02 in Astronomy & Space

On Aug. 21, a solar eclipse will occur over the United States. Hotels throughout the 70-mile-wide path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina have been completely booked by amateur astronomers and excited skywatchers. Even outside the path of totality, a partial solar eclipse will take place across the entire continental U.S. Scientists at MIT are taking advantage of this rare event to study its effects on weather in the near-Earth space around our planet, a place directly affected by our nearest star — the sun. MIT’s Haystack Observatory is one of several institutions whose ground-based eclipse research has been funded by NASA. A team led by Haystack Assistant Director Phil Erickson will investigate the effects of the eclipse on the Earth’s ionosphere, using the National Science Foundation-supported Millstone Hill incoherent scatter radar facility in Westford, Massachusetts, together with an extensive network of ground-based GPS receivers, National Science Foundation Arecibo Observatory in...

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