In another series of events, NASA has organised the high-altitude balloons to study, film and broadcast the total solar eclipse. So far, only scientists have had the benefit of watching the solar eclipse from above the Earth. The rare sight is now going to be stream live on Earth for everyone, thanks to Angela Des Jardins.
Angela Des Jardins is an astrophysicist in Bozeman at the Montana State University, who wants the view to be available to everyone. On 21st August, she is going to organise a livestream broadcast of the total solar eclipse from the space. Along with 50 other groups of people, she is going to launch the high-altitude balloons for recording the shadow of the moon across the Earth and would upload it on the internet with the live broadcasting method.
She believes that there is no fun in watching the solar eclipse from the Earth since it gets dark. But from the space, it throws light on another perspective where the entire event can be seen with clarity.
THE IDEA OF THE BALLOON
She and her group of engineers have engineered the high-altitude balloons which can be studied to study almost everything from the high energy particles produced in the thunderstorms to the ozone.
She figured it out that the mounted cameras on the balloons would make it easier to get a high-quality footage from the balloon like some other group had done it in 2002 eclipse. But, she knew that no one would be very interested in viewing the eclipse after it happened since the impact is greater with live streaming.
This, in turn, made the entire operation more interesting since the balloons would now have to have a GPS antennas installed in them for the tracking of satellite modems in order to transmit media along with microcomputers which could manage it all. The balloons even needed space to have some more scientific equipment kept in it but needed to have a weight of fewer than 12 pounds for meeting the rules of Federal Aviation Administration.
THE TIMING AND THE PLACE
The total solar eclipse is going to start on 21stAugust 2017 at 10:15 AM according to the Pacific Time. Angela is going to keep tracking four balloons as they float 30 km above Tetons. She has to manage the tracking along with interacting with various other scientists.
With her experiment, she wishes for the people to experience the beauty of the eclipse and establish a link between the physical world and the cosmic world. With a clip of 90 minutes, people can actually see the outer layer of the sun’s atmosphere which isn’t blocked by the moon. People can also study the change in nature during the eclipse.