Science

The August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse offers scientists a unique opportunity to pursue a number of unique science and engineering problems. The very dark color of the moon can be used to calibrate X-ray imagers to properly record the ‘zero signal’ state, while the eclipse will block out the disk of the sun letting the light from the mysterious inner corona within 100 km of the solar photosphere shine into various experiments for detailed study.

This page introduces you to some of the unique observations planned by NASA of the sun and moon during this eclipse, and also provides interviews with scientists about their work and why they were drawn to careers in science.

The Sun page linked preview image

Eclipses are a special kind of transit, which is when one astronomical body passes in front of another.

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The Moon page linked preview image

It takes three bodies to create a total solar eclipse: Earth, the sun, and the moon.

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Earth page linked preview image

During a total solar eclipse, the normal rhythms of Earth are disrupted. The sudden blocking of the sun makes the day appear to be night in more ways than just the loss of light. 

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Transits and Occultations page linked preview image

Eclipses are a special kind of transit, which is when one astronomical body passes in front of another.

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Science from the ground page linked preview image

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will appear over a 70-mile wide path that crosses the c

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BALLOON Observations page linked preview image

NASA uses high altitude balloons to launch sensitive scientific payloads that observe the univers

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Citizen Science page linked preview image

The 2017 solar eclipse offers opportunities for amateur astronomers and lifelong learners

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Exploring Exoplanets

Exploring exoplanets

The year was 2001 - the first of the new millennium. It was also the year astronomers reached a historic milestone: they had catalogued more planets orbiting distant stars than the eight we knew about in our own solar system!.

Helmet Streamers

Helmet Streamers

There are many features of the sun that will likely be seen during the total solar eclipse including the spectacular corona, helmet streamers, the thin red ring of the chromosphere, and perhaps a few prominences.

The Chromosphere

Chromosphere

Normally, the brilliant surface of the sun, called the photosphere, is the most common feature we see, and even so its brightness masks many other important regions of the sun from easy view. But once you filter out the light from the photosphere, all other fainter regions vanish completely.

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