Crossroads Eclipse 2017 Research Workshop (CERW 2017)

 Crossroads Eclipse 2017 Research Workshop Public Presentations

Saturday, August 19, 2017

SIU Carbondale Student Center Auditorium

Tentative Schedule – last updated 7/30/2017


3:00pm          Poster session open to public (International Lounge)

3:30pm          Welcome – Bob Baer, SIU Carbondale

3:40pm          The Citizen CATE Experiment: Continuous Coverage of the Inner Solar Corona, Sarah Kovac, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

4:00pm          The Citizen Science Approach to Measuring the Polarization of Solar Corona, Adriana Mitchell, University of Arizona, Padma A. Yanamandra-Fisher, Space Science Institute, David Elmore, National Solar Observatory, Matt Penn, National Solar Observatory

4:20pm          Enhancement of the Secondary Cosmic Radiation in the Path of the Total Solar Eclipse 21 Aug. 2017,  S.N.A. Jaaffrey, Pacific College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Pacific Academy of Higher Education and Research University, Rajasthan, India

4:40pm           Break

4:50pm        Multispectral Airglow Observations during the August 2017 Full Solar Eclipse, Saurav Aryal, Supriya Chakrabarti, Susanna C. Finn, , George Geddes University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA 01854

5:10pm           The National Effort to View the Moon’s Shadow from the Edge of Space. Greg Guzik, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Space Consortium.

5:30pm          Thanasis Economu, University of Chicago.

5:50pm           Final comments.


Note:  Presentations are free and open to the public.  All talks are 15 minutes with 5 minutes allowed for questions and speaker changeover. Primary presenter’s name in bold.  Posters on display August 19 in the International Lounge outside of the auditorium 30 minutes prior to presentations, and August 20 – 21 in the SIU Arena Crossroads Astronomy, Science, and Technology Expo.


About the speakers


Sarah Kovac is from Plainfield, IL and a recent physics graduate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has research experience in thin film technology, high energy astrophysics, and solar physics. Over the last two years, she has become a Citizen CATE Master Trainer, working at the National Solar Observatory and traveling to Indonesia to prepare for the 2017 eclipse.


Adriana M. Mitchell is a Junior at University of Arizona, majoring in Optical Science and Engineering. Her hometown is Arlington, Virginia. She has been working on the Citizen Science Approach to Measuring Polarization for the past six months. Her past research experience includes solar physics and composition of cometary nuclei.


S.N.A. Jaaffrey is a Professor of Physics and Director of Faculty of  Science at Pacific Academy of Higher Education and Research University, Udaipur.  He is a Visiting Associated Scientist of Inter University Centre of Astronomy  and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune since 2007. He is also working as an Associated Scientist of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology   (IITM), Pune since 2010. He was member of Board of Management (BOM) during the session 2009-2010. * He remained Advisory member of prestigious national project CAIPEEX (Cloud and Aerosol Interaction  and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment) of Ministry of Earth Science, India during 2008- 2010 for artificial rain. He has been active Coordinator of IUCAA Resource Centre (IRC), Udaipur since 2007 with the motivation to popularize Astronomical activities in the western part of India.  He has been member of All India Astronomical Society since 2007.

Saurav Aryal is a PhD candidate at University of Massachusetts Lowell in the Physics and Applied Physics department. His research includes work on remote sensing of the upper atmosphere using multi-spectral imaging.  Prior to joining UMass Lowell, he completed his undergraduate and master degrees in Physics from Winona State University and Central Michigan University, respectively.


T. Gregory Guzik received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1980. He has been with Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA for more than 30 years and is now a Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy as well as Director of the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium / NASA EPSCoR program. He has been involved with scientific ballooning since the early 1990’s and was the Flight Operations Lead for the LSU ATIC balloon experiment during ATIC’s LDB flights in Antarctica.  Dr. Guzik led the development of the Louisiana Aerospace Catalyst Experiences for Students (LaACES) sounding balloon program for entry level undergraduates as well as the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) program for advanced student teams from across the nation.  Dr. Guzik has been working with several other Space Grant consortia across the nation on the Solar Eclipse Ballooning project.


Thanasis Economou, Senior Scientist, Enrico Fermi Institute A native of Greece, Thanasis (Tom) Economou has been building instruments for interplanetary spacecraft since the mid-1960s. Currently he is associated with three robotic interplanetary missions: the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Cassini mission to Saturn, and the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. He also participated in the now-complete Stardust mission to Comet Wild-2, and its redirected mission as Stardust-NExT to Comet Tempel 1. Economou also built the Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer that successfully performed the first chemical analysis of martian rocks aboard the Mars Pathfinder rover in 1997. Working in the laboratory of Anthony Turkevich, he contributed to the alpha backscattering experiment of three robotic Surveyor space probes that landed on the moon in 1967-68. With Turkevich during the 1970s and 1980s, he also conducted basic nuclear physics research on the subatomic structure of matter using the most advanced particle accelerators at Los Alamos, Argonne and Fermi National Accelerator laboratories. During the 1990s they performed an important double beta decay experiment of Uranium-238 to Plutonium-238, suggesting for the first time that neutrinos consists of a small quantity of mass.

Information for registered workshop attendees

Tanjung_Pandan_ObservationsCERW 2017 is being established to facilitate and enrich research opportunities in solar science and citizen science.  SIU Carbondale has established research observation areas at the SIU Farms Dark Site and the main campus that will be available to workshop participants. Participants will be required to present on their research project and are requested to submit brief abstracts for either talks and/or poster presentations. Selected presentations will be made at SIU Carbonadale on August 19, 2017. Posters will additionally be displayed at the Crossroads Astronomy Science and Technology Expo to be held August 20 – 21 at SIU Carbondale.  Successful applicants will be given access to research space for eclipse observations either on the SIUC main campus, or at the SIUC Farms Dark Site.  Space is limited.

Lodging:  Participants will be responsible for their own lodging arrangements.

SIU Schneider Hall has a limited number of suites available from Saturday, August 19 thru Tuesday, August 22 – SOLD OUT.  More info online at:

Limited accommodations are available at SIU Touch of Nature.  Contact Touch of Nature Eclipse coordinator, Kayla Cole ( for details.   See additional details for camping options below.

Registration is open. Download Registration form here. Cost: $50 per person.  A limited number of fee waivers is available.

Research Locations

SIU Dark Site

The SIU Farms dark site consists of ten telescope pads, open grass areas, and a parking area. Additionally, there is a small area that may be used for camping by the workshop participants.  There are no services available at the site.    A single common use open wall tent will be setup at the site to provide limited shade and shelter to teams along with a hospitality trailer.  Teams wanting to stay on site will be allowed to primitive camp, or arrange for their own RV accommodations.  Porta potties will be provided on site.

The pads are oriented in such a way that they all have a clear view of totality and do not block one another. Pads are 10’ X 10’ concrete and are separated from one another to provide vibration isolation.  Teams may setup their own tents on the pads provided they do not block other team’s observations.

SIU Farms Dark Site Location. Image courtesy of Xavier Jubier

The site is located in the center of a 1 mile section of SIU farm fields and is far away from any roadways to minimize the chance of passing vehicles causing vibrations that would affect observations.  The site is secluded from the general public to allow for setup of telescopes in advance and uninterrupted research observations. Research teams at the site will need to provide for their own power utilizing batteries or portable generators.

Main SIU Carbondale Campus

Teams needing access to power or having a major outreach component will be allowed observation space on the main campus.  Contact the workshop coordinator, Bob Baer, for details.

Important Dates

Feb 28, 2017 Abstracts due

March 24, 2017  Notifications of accepted presentations

July 31, 2017 Posters and presentation slides due to workshop coordinator

August 18, 2017:  Advanced access to observation sites for equipment setup and calibration.

August 19, 2017: Talks presented at the SIU Student Center Auditorium.  Posters presented outside the Student Center Auditorium.

August 20, 2017:  Posters on display at Expo

August 21, 2017: Eclipse research observations

August 22, 2017: Dark site closed.

Organizing Committee

Bob Baer, SIU Carbondale

Mark Byrd, SIU Carbondale

Thanasis Economou, University of Chicago

Mike Kentrianakis, American Astronomical Society

Matt Penn, National Solar Observatory