The upcoming Eclipse presents numerous research opportunities, and we are excited to be working on a few of them here.
Crossroads Eclipse Research Workshop
SIU will host researchers from around the world for eclipse 2024 who wish to present on and conduct observations / data collection during the 2024 total solar eclipse at SIU Carbondale. The SIU Astronomy Observation Area will be open to researchers and astrophotographers to setup photographic and observation equipment in the days prior to eclipse 2024. The Astronomy Observation Area is a gated semi-dark site approximately 2 miles west of the main SIU campus. It has 10 concrete telescope pads as well as parking and room for onsite RV or tent camping for research groups. Additional resources and facilities are available to visiting researchers through the STEM Education Research Center and the School of Physics and Applied Physics. Research groups are encouraged to register for the Crossroads Eclipse Research Workshop (CERW) and present your research on campus during the eclipse weekend. Information on the CERW and registration will be announced soon.
The Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast Initiative
The Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast (DEB) Initiative is a nationwide citizen science team led by faculty and staff at SIU Carbondale to broadcast new and exciting views of eclipses. The Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast (DEB) Initiative creates a North American network of volunteer citizen scientist solar observation teams. Teams receive training and become part of the network that will conduct coordinated solar observations leading up to and during the 2023 annular and 2024 total solar eclipse, and web broadcast images from observing sites in near real-time. Compelling images from the partial phases of the eclipses, and science quality data from the path of totality, will be collected from a large number of sites. DEB’s goal is to have volunteer observers imaging from Mexico, Canada and across the USA. Inexpensive camera and telescope systems, combined with new data analysis techniques, will enable unique observations of these upcoming solar eclipses.
More information at debinitiative.org.
Solar Telescope Feeds
SIU has teamed up with Lunt Solar Systems to provide stunning high resolution full color solar images using mulit-wavelenth telescope systems. As was done during the 2017 total solar eclipse, the Lunt SunLab will again provide nationally available telescope feeds for the upcoming 2023 and 2024 total solar eclipses. The 2024 Lunt SunLab has been dramatically improved since 2017 with upgraded optics, cameras, and imaging routines. The Sun Lab uses four 230mm professional research scopes for solar imaging in white light, Hydrogen Alpha, and Calcium K wavelengths. New for 2024, a student run astrophotography at SIU Carbondale will operate a second smaller set of 100mm Lunt modular telescopes to allow backup, geographically separated imaging. Both these sets of telescope are mobile and can be moved to remote locations, traveling several hundred miles in a single day to get to clear skies.
Einstein’s Incredible Universe
Researchers in the SIU STEM Education Research Center and the School of Physics and Applied Physics are part of an NSF funded project led by Cosmic Picture, “Einstein’s Incredible Universe,” a major media and outreach program designed to catalyze interest in space science and spark scientific curiosity in learners worldwide. The funding provides for 20 Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast Initiative imaging setups to be provided to girl groups nationwide through an application process administrated by the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). NGCP engages young women nationwide in exploring STEM topics such as space, time, and gravity. SIU is developing training materials, videos, and STEM activities for the project in cooperation with the Science Center of St. Louis. The 20 girl groups will participate in 2024 total solar eclipse observations that investigate thatthe nature of the solar corona. The centerpiece of the project is a film for giant screen and IMAX theaters that will celebrate the groundbreaking work of Albert Einstein, the curiosity that drove him to explore space and time, and the scientific creativity that led to his most revolutionary ideas.