Student Team to Live-Stream Total Solar Eclipse August 21

Eclipse Live Stream

A team of students and faculty from the Arizona Space Grant Consortium at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott and Arizona State University will launch a high-altitude balloon on August 21 as part of a nationwide, NASA-sponsored project to live-stream aerial video footage of the "Great American Eclipse."

The team will launch the roughly 8-foot-tall, helium-filled balloon, which will carry a video camera and other equipment to an altitude of up to 100,000 feet, at approximately 8:45 a.m. (Arizona time) near Glendo State Park in Wyoming. Live footage from the camera will be available for public viewing on NASA's website, http://nasa.gov.

The total solar eclipse will feature the moon entirely blocking the sun for approximately two and a half minutes on a narrow path progressing from the Pacific coast in Oregon to the Atlantic coast in South Carolina. At maximum eclipse in Northern Arizona, approximately 70% of the sun will be blocked by the moon.

Eclipse times for the Prescott area on Monday, August 21 are as follows:

 

Start of partial eclipse: 9:13 a.m.

Maximum eclipse: 10:32 a.m.

End of partial eclipse: 11:59 a.m.

 

The NASA-sponsored project, led by the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) at Montana State University, has been years in the making. According to MSGC Director Angela Des Jardins, the project marks the first time that high-altitude video footage of a total solar eclipse has been broadcast live.

"We're excited to provide a unique perspective of this rare phenomenon," Des Jardins said. "The live-stream video will show the curvature of the planet, the blackness of space, and the whole of the moon's shadow crossing the Earth during the eclipse."

In addition to a video camera, the team's balloon will carry a GPS tracking system, a camera to capture still images of the eclipse, and the ASU Experimental Payload. Once the eclipse has passed, the balloon will pop and the payloads will parachute to Earth.

The Embry-Riddle students involved in the project are Dakota Burklund, Alan Davis, Michael Fusco, Steven Buck and Robert Velarde.

"This project has introduced me to a broad spectrum of problems in addition to inflexible deadlines in order to have the systems ready for the eclipse, said Embry-Riddle student and NASA Space Grant Researcher Dakota Burklund. "Each project requirement was met and every problem was adequately addressed, either by one of the team members or help from the many other teams involved in this project."

The team wishes to thank the mentors from both universities, Prof. Jack Crabtree from Embry-Riddle and Dr. Tom Sharp from Arizona State University as well as Arizona Near Space Research for opportunity to work collaboratively on this project.  

For more information about the national project and press materials, visit http://eclipse.montana.edu.

For more information about Arizona Near Space Research visit http://www.ansr.org/.

To view the eclipse live on August 21, go to: http://nasa.gov. ​

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