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tv   Angela Speck on the Solar Eclipse  CSPAN  August 20, 2017 1:08am-1:19am EDT

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>> on monday, a total solar eclipse it will be visible from coast to coast for the first time in 99 years. our coverage begins at 7:00 am eastern with washington journal live from the goddard space flight center. in preparation, we recently spoke with an astronomer, to learn more. astronomical society eclipse task force. this task force you are a part of has been working for more than a year to prepare the american people for the total solar eclipse monday. what kind of work have you been doing?
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angela: we convened about three years ago and really, to make sure people realized what was going to happen. when you start saying there is going to be this mass migration of people on all the towns that see the total eclipse, people look at you funny. our job has been to work with every aspect of this, whether emergency services, departments of transport, tourism and business, all that sort of thing as well as educational. it is such an education opportunity that we want to be able to make sure teachers are ready, that we make the most of this, and that everyone is safe, because there are safety issues. every conceivable aspect of the eclipse, we have been putting out to whoever needs to know about it. >> why do you think that is important? angela: a few different things. first of all, it is happening. it's one of those things, why do
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people climb everest, why do people want to go to the grand canyon? because it is there. it is something you should see in your life. now we have one coming across the u.s. it is an opportunity to engage with people in science in an atypical way. people have a view of science, i'm guessing a lot of viewers won't see me as the stereotypical image of the scientist. most people have an idea about what science is. can really draw on getting people excited about science and that is something we need right now. >> what do you hope people learn or take away from monday's total solar eclipse? angela: there are a few different things i would like people to learn. overall, what i would really like people to see is the world is an amazing place. the universe is an amazing place , and occasionally, it gives an amazing show and this is what we will get to see. getuld like some people to
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that science is something that impacts our lives every single day, and this is a way of drawing them into that and i want to generate fans of science. >> what will people see? angela: it depends on exactly where they are, because the entire country will see a partial eclipse. let's concentrate on the path of totality. if you are on this band of land that goes from oregon to south carolina, it is 70 miles wide. you have a partial eclipse first. in the last 20 minutes of the partial eclipse before the moon is right in front, blocking out the sun, before that about 20 minutes out, the sky is going to go to dusky colors. birds will start behaving weirdly like it is after sunset, making lots of noise. then the moon is getting into place and it goes dark, it goes dark very fast. much faster than the sun goes
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down. it is dark in seconds and like a full moon night. un's atmosphere, you can imagine all of these streamers coming off from around the sun. it looks like a hole in the side where the moon is blocking up the sun and you have these streamers of white, shimmering gas flowing off of it. it is only about as bright as the full mode, so now we have a full moon night. you can see stars and planets. for harry potter fans, regulus and sirius will be near the horizon. there is so much to see during the eclipse. feel.also something you it can get colder by 10 degrees. you will feel that. that temperature drop will generate wind, so you will feel the wind on your skin. and not just birds, but animals will behave interestingly like it has gone to nighttime. there is a lot to take in during the eclipse.
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>> what about the safety? angela: it is no less safe than any other day. eclipse day is not super unsafe. it is dangerous to look at the sun every day. most people not -- no to not stare at the sun. it is a bad idea. what people don't realize is that is true everyday. eclipse is no different, don't stare at it, but now we want to. now we want to see the sun being blocked out by the moon. you need to make sure you are wearing protective eyewear, it is called eclipse glasses or solar viewing glasses. or using a pinhole camera. a lot of people will have made those in school. whole -- hole on the back of shoebox or something like that. you shouldn't look directly at the sun any day and that is true on eclipse day.
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>> scientists will be watching to collect information, data. what kind of data are they collecting and how will be used? angela: there are various experiments going on. we can see the corona, the sun's atmosphere, and the only time we can see the lower portion of an we can't fake an eclipse. the corona occasionally throws things at us, like an objection of mass from the sun and it can affect communications and electricity grids. we don't fully understand this. a lot of people will be collecting what the corona looks like. thing about this eclipse, you don't get more than two and have minutes of darkness, we are able to do it all along the path, so you get 90 minutes of, what is the corona doing?
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there are people taking images, taking images in different colors, that gives us temperature information. that sort of thing. that is the main astronomy science being done, but there are also experiments to do with general relativity, which is how light is affected by gravity. there are experiments on how animals and plants behave. there are experiments on how the atmosphere behaves. we don't normally get to look at the sunlight and see what happens, and we can see what happens. >> how excited are you? why are americans excited about this? angela: i think people are genuinely excited about science. if you look on social media, there are so many jokes about schrodinger's cat, and that doesn't make sense if you don't like science. this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. most people don't get to see more than one of these. most people never see one.
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the last time we had one on mainland u.s. was 38 years ago. that was only visible in the northwest. the last one that went coast-to-coast was 99 years ago. it is a mixture of that is cool and i may not get to see this again. i think people are excited, and when they realize they are seeing things they may never get to see, that makes it super exciting. it is also a little bit like -- i want to go to the grand canyon and you see a picture and it is cool, but you want to see it in the flesh. [gasp].u do it is like, it is like that, but it is if the grand canyon is in the sky. >> what is your favorite part of watching the eclipse? angela: the things you can't see otherwise. although we can't see the specific stars we will see during the day in august, i can see them at night in february. i'm not worried about looking to the stars. but looking at the corona, the
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only time you can see it is a eclipse, -- during an it is the only opportunity. the other thing is, we get all the way around the horizon, sunset colors. it is dark where the sun is and it gets lighter down to the ground and on the ground, it is just after sunset colors. you see that normally driving west after sunset, but now it goes all the way around. i want to see that. >> professor, thank you for your time. >> c-span's coverage of the solar eclipse on monday starts at seven at clock eastern with the washington journal live at goddard's space enter. -- auest are a national and aesearch specialist chief scientist at nasa. we provide live use of the
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eclipse's shadow. and viewer reaction to this solar eclipse over the continental u.s. the, all-day coverage of solar eclipse on monday starting at 7:00. listen live on the free c-span radio app. now, researchers from nasa and its partner universities and a briefing on mondays solar eclipse three the first total solar eclipse visible in the the first 1979 and visible from coast to coast in 99 years. officials discuss their plans to track the eclipse. this is about one hour and 25 minutes. eclipse. let me introduce you to our first panel. the agency's headquarters in


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