NASA teams up with A-State to capture solar eclipse - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

NASA teams up with A-State to capture solar eclipse

Path of Totality (Source: KAIT) Path of Totality (Source: KAIT)
High Altitude Balloon (Source: Arkansas State University) High Altitude Balloon (Source: Arkansas State University)
Instruments (Source: KAIT) Instruments (Source: KAIT)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

A very rare solar eclipse is just over a year away and it has close ties with Region 8.

Region 8 News spoke with a professor at Arkansas State University who has been chosen by The National Aeronautics and Space Administration to send a high-altitude balloon up into the atmosphere during next year’s eclipse.

A team made up of A-State students, Dr. Tillman Kennon, and a local high school group will travel up to Fulton, Missouri next August to work on a project alongside other teams across the nation.

According to Dr. Tillman, a balloon housing several cameras will be launched to roughly 80,000 feet above the ground.

A ground station, an antenna, and a satellite will receive live data and broadcast the shadow of the sun to NASA’s website.  

Dr. Kennon is excited about this opportunity and wants everyone to take advantage of the proximity of the total eclipse.

“I think everybody ought to do anything that you have to do, with it being this close to us, to get up there and see one,” Kennon said. “So, if you have a bucket list, this ought to be on your bucket list, to see a total solar eclipse. A lot of people have seen partials, but not that many people get to see a total solar eclipse.”

The “path of totality,” or where the sun can be viewed completely covered by the moon, goes all the way through the continental United States.

That has not happened since June 8, 1918.

Parts of this path run straight through Missouri and Tennessee, making it easier for Region 8 residents to get one of the best eclipse views in the country.

The solar eclipse will take place on August 21, 2017, and will require eye protection to view. 

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