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News from Mathnasium of Fremont

Solar Eclipse

Aug 19, 2017

Three times scientists learned something from solar eclipses—and three times they were tricked

By Giorgia Guglielmi

Next Monday’s solar eclipse, which should be visible across a wide swath of the continental United States, has inspired millions to travel to the path of totality, where the alignment of moon and sun will cast the land into darkness for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. For most scientists, though, the celestial phenomenon won’t be such a big deal. That’s because total solar eclipses happen pretty routinely, about once every 18 months. And even when they aren’t taking place, astronomers can still study the sun’s wispy atmosphere using coronagraphs, telescope attachments that obscure the surface glare of the sun.


NASA live stream