HAO Colloquium - David Elmore, NSO

The Continental America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment project and initial results

(David Elmore, Matt Penn, Adriana Mitchell, Padma Yanamanda-Fisher)

Why the solar corona is hot has puzzled solar physicists since its discovery nearly a century ago.  Theories are numerous and are not well constrained by coronal observations due to the difficulty of observing the faint corona adjacent to the million-times brighter photosphere.  Total solar eclipses offer brief glimpses of the inner corona with sufficiently low background light level to well resolve coronal features at high signal to noise.  Measurement of acceleration in those features can provide insight into the location of heating and observed transverse movements of coronal structures can provide observational constraints on wave and reconnection theories.  The time scale needed for these measurements is longer than the duration of a total eclipse from a single site therefore the goal of the Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) Experiment was to take a 90-minute time sequence of calibrated white light images of the inner corona using 68 identical telescopes spread from Oregon to South Carolina during the 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse.  A network of well-trained teams of citizen scientists was mobilized to preform these observations.  This talk presents how the Citizen CATE project developed, is organized, the equipment in hand, and some very early results. 

Date and time: 
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Building: 
CG-1
Room: 
2126