Ever want to ask a real life astronaut a question? Here’s your chance!
Astronauts Drew Feustel & Ricky Arnold will be taking your questions in a VideoAnswer Time session. We’ll collect your questions and send them to space to be answered by the astronauts on Friday, May 18. We’ll record their answers and post them on Wednesday, May 23 here on NASA’s Tumblr. Make sure to ask your question now by visiting http://nasa.tumblr.com/ask!
Andrew J. Feustel was selected by NASA in 2000. He has been assigned to Expedition 55/56, which launched in March 2018. The Lake Orion, Michigan native has a Ph.D. in the Geological Sciences, specializing in Seismology, and is a veteran of two spaceflights. Follow Feustel on Twitter and Instagram.
Richard R. Arnold II was selected as an astronaut by NASA in May 2004. The Maryland native worked in the marine sciences and as a teacher in his home state, as well as in countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. Follow Arnold on Twitter and Instagram.
As my dad likes to say, I went to college to take up space, so I’m not sure what happens in the atmosphere. However, I think that the atmospheric scientists are interested in the types of waves that will be set up by the temperature gradients generated by the eclipse. So as totality occurs you get a very fast temperature drop in a localized area. I believe this can set up strong winds which may affect the type of clouds and/or their shapes. This is going to be the best-observed eclipse! And one thing I’ve learned as a scientist is that you never know what you’ll find in your data so collect as much of it as possible even if you aren’t sure what you’ll find. That is sometimes when you get the most exciting results! Thanks for downloading the app and helping to collect the data!
I don’t believe it should directly impact airplanes. We are looking at how the eclipse will affect radio communications which airplanes use, but that’s something we’ll learn with the data we collect during this eclipse. Pilots will need to be careful as always to not look directly at the Sun. If you are a lucky passenger on one of the flights that will cross the eclipse, make sure to bring your eclipse viewing glasses as you will need them to look at the Sun safely https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety That would be an amazing opportunity to view the eclipse from a plane as you wouldn’t have to worry about cloud cover. You may also get a longer viewing experience if you are following the path of totality! In fact, some NASA scientist are going to be flying experiments on a couple of NASA planes! https://youtu.be/R0GNqlGNZkI?list=PL_8hVmWnP_O2oVpjXjd_5De4EalioxAUi
Deffinelty do not wear them while driving or walking around as you can’t see anything out of them (they are very very dark). But while you are driving and walking you shouldn’t be looking at the Sun anyway. You only need to wear them while you are looking at the Sun. You can use them any day to view the Sun. In a few years, when the Sun once again becomes more active, you can use these glasses and pinhole projectors to see sunspots! Make sure to check that they are ISO 12312-2 compliant, from a trusted vendor, and not scratched or damaged before using them to look at the Sun. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety
I believe you are in the path of totality in the St. Louise area. Even if there is complete cloud cover, you’ll likely still notice it getting darker, and you’ll definitely still feel the temperature drop. I’m not sure if you’ll notice odd animal behavior as that’s not my area of expertise, but I would think you might. I would say you should still go and see it! Especially if you are in an area with a chance of partly cloudy. You never know, the clouds may disappear for at least a portion of totality!
The solar eclipse is when the moon is directly in front of the Sun and creates a shadow on the Earth. They happen about once every 18 months. I don’t believe that you’ll be able to see this eclipse from the Netherlands. I think the next one to be in Europe is in 2026. There’s one in Chillie and Argentia in 2019 and another in Antartica in 2021.
Unfortunately no. They do not block out enough of the sunlight so you could still burn your eyes if you were to use them to look at the Sun. The ISO 12312-2 compliant eclipse glasses are so dark you literally can’t see anything out of them unless you are looking at the Sun. You can find trusted vendors through the links at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety If you can’t get them in time, you can also make a pinhole projector https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/projection and watch the eclipse with that.