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Views from Totality

A few thoughts about the eclipse from the lead researcher

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Five faculty members and a student fanned out across the United States for Monday’s eclipse. The half dozen researchers positioned themselves along the path of totality, so they could observe and take measurements.

Leading the team was Dr. Martina Arndt, a BSU physics professor and veteran researcher specializing in eclipses. She sent this dispatch from Nebraska:

“Every day leading up to the eclipse, we had gloriously clear weather – and on eclipse day we woke up to thick fog. We hoped the sun would burn it off and were not disappointed – we had crystal clear skies during the eclipse. As far as we can tell, all the experiments worked and four of the five sites that are part of our larger research team reported having clear skies. So, all in all, a very successful eclipse expedition… My 12-year-old daughter joined us, and she thought it was beautiful and moving and is already asking to come to the next one!”

Professor Nicole Glen of the Elementary & Early Childhood Education Department sent her reflections, as well:

 “I was in Hopkinsville, Ky., with my family, which included my husband who is a local earth science teacher, and kids ages 8, 5, and 2 1/2. We chose Hopkinsville because it was one of the sites that had the longest total eclipse time at 2:40 minutes. I think what I loved most about the actual eclipse was the obvious excitement of everyone there. When the sky went dark, everyone was cheering. There were fireworks going off throughout town. My kids loved that they could see the moon so clearly and the ring of the sun around it during totality. Even my 2-year-old was saying ‘moon’ and ‘sun,’ and pointing it out. We could see a few planets in the sky. Crickets were chirping like it was dusk. As the moon moved away from the sun and totality was ending, everyone broke out in cheers again. Overall, it was a great feeling to have so many people together for a common and joyous event.”

Other BSU faculty members participating were Maria HegbloomMercedes NunezVeronica Cote, and student Maria Patrone. Compiling and analyzing the data collected from different sites is the team’s next task. (Story by John Winters, G ’11, University News & Media, group photo by Rob Havasy)

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