Skip to main content

tv   Hearing Examines NASA Research on Solar Eclipse  CSPAN  September 28, 2017 8:01pm-9:27pm EDT

8:01 pm
for as long as i live i will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even poshable. it's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional of candidates. but it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts. that out of many, we are truly one. >> for the past 30 years the video library is your free resource for politics, congress and washington public affairs. so whether it happened 30 years
8:02 pm
ago or 30 minutes ago. the committee on sign, space and technology will come to order. they're authorized to declare recesses at any time. good morning and welcome to
8:03 pm
today's hearing entitled the great american eclipse to totalality and beyond. i recognize myself for an opening statement but i'm going to submit most of my prepared statement for a record. >> we will be inspired by our witnesses today and harnessing the enthusiasm for the eclipse we saw when people really came together. i know my husband had was with the cereal box doing this. so we really are excited to see this whole generation of students who are interested in this and like the now translate that into stem careers. excited to hear from our witnesses today. i'm going to shorten up and submit my statement for the
8:04 pm
record and then i'm going to now recognize the ranking member from california for his opening statement. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. the eclipse was absolutely exciting, right? on august 21st i went to the power house science center in sacramento and what was great about it was the number of kids that were throughout with their glass sdwes and the number of amateur astronomers that were out there. that reminds me of the excitement growing up with the apollo program and the generation of scientists that encouraged to go into science. we were at and i can't remember the scientists name but she was one of the most enthusiastic people i've seen.
8:05 pm
it's going to generate a generation of kids wanting to go into science. i will yield back and i'm excited to hear what you have to say. >> great and i now recognize the chairman of the full committee. >> in august millions of americans turned their eye to the sky to witness a rare event, a solar eclipse. it was a profound experience and exciting even for those of us who witnessed a partial eclipse. an eclipse is a site that has inspired previous generations and one i hope will inspire a whole new group of young people to study the universe and beyond. it was a 1878 american eclipse that inspired a young inventor, thomas edison. he took a trip to wyoming and attempt a experiment to study the sun's outer atmosphere.
8:06 pm
it failed but allowed him to think about the principals of light and power. the very next year invented the incandescent light bulb. who knows what discoveries this year's eclipse will inspire but it's already generated an enthusiasm for astronomy, aast rophysics andast robiology. that enthusiasm was converted to stem education lessons. we have the privilege of hearing from a panel of witnesses who helped make the day a success i tharj our witnesses and look forward seeing their inkredsable photos and videos. and hearing what's next for solar science. it's human nature to seek out the unknown and discover more about the universe around us. we have an extraordinary opportunity to turn enthusiasm
8:07 pm
for the great american eclipse into a renewal of american physics and astronomy that lasts far beyond the two minutes of totalality. we yield back. >> thank you and i now recognize the chairman of the space committee for an opening statement. >> i want to start by thanking our colleagues and also our witnesses that have come forth on this very, very interesting hearing. something that struck me about this eclipse is the level of excitement that it generated all across the united states. it was something that really brought us all together in our interest and awe. i'd like to also add that nasa's web traffic sky rocketed. it peekedality seven times higher than the previous record. the online viewing audience compare would the audience of the super bowl and even netflix lost 10% of the day's viewership of the eclipse. and schools across the country
8:08 pm
incorporated the eclicpse into their teaching programs and no doubt how it captured their fascination and thoroughly enjoyed myself showing and explaining to our school children in some parts of my district during that time, including my own grandchildren, the little cereal boxes that we had made, the solar viewer projectors. i think is what they're real name is. but it was one of those rare wonderful events that was exciting to the scientific community as it was to the man on the street. it brings to mind an interesting comparison and in a way it was almost like a space station, a space mission that was brought into our own back yards. i'm very excited about the upcoming 2024 eclipse, which in my opinion can be even more
8:09 pm
impressive and awe inspiring. not the least because the path to totalality for this eclipse travels right across my home state of texas. i want to thank you all for your testimony and looking forward to it and i yield back, madam chair. >> thank you and i will now introduce our witnesses. our first witness today is dr. james, acting assistant director for mathematical and physical sciences at the national siennation national science foundation. he was assistant director of the radio astronomy observatory where he over saw the very large array and baseline array telescopes. he is also served in various capacities at the nasa propulsion laboratory. received his bachelor of arts degree in astronomy from the university of california in los angeles and ph.d. in astronomy from the university of maryland. our second witness today is
8:10 pm
dr. thomas -- i'm going to let you -- he previously served at the university of michigan. he's worked on several missions including yul isease. here in both his masters of science degree and ph.d. of physics in switzerland. our third witness today is dr. heidi hamill, executive vice president of the university of research and astronomy. 34 u.s. universities and institutions that operate world class astraunm -- astran -- astronomical. sorry. observatories, including hubbal, the national optical astronomy observatory, the national solar
8:11 pm
observatory and the gem nigh observatory. since 2003 has served as one of 6 interdisciplinary scientists assisting nasa on the james web space telescope. she received her undergraduate from mit and ph.d. in astronomy from the university of hawaii. our third witness is dr. matthew pen, astronomer at the national solar observatory in arizona. principal investigator on the citizens continental eclipse experiment or citizen cate. and specifically he works on the dkist telescope project under construction in hawaii developing infrared science and instrumental requirements. he received his bachelor of science from cal tech as well as from the university of had hawaii and our fifth witness
8:12 pm
today is miss michelle nicholls, director of public observing that adler plan tearium. she also leads theed aler's various telescope observatory and sky observing efforts. she earned hes bachelor's of physics from the university of illinois and masters of education in curriculum instruction from national st. louis university and i now recognize dr. alvastad for his testimony. >> thank you. members of the subcommittees, i'm acting assistant director for mathematical and physical science directors at the national science foundation and thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i want to focus my remarks on
8:13 pm
the large scale out reach associate woud with the eclipse. august 21st was an exciting day for our citizens and scientists alike. as our nation was center stage for the total solar eclipse, the first since 1979. soy scientists and spectators from around the world gathered across this country to witness this extraordinary event. it was a total solar eclipse where direct sun lite was blocked for over two minutes while the moon covered the sun. it made its way from oregon to south carolina illuminating a 70 mile wide path across 14 states. the rest of the continental u.s. experienced a percentage during the 90-minute traverse across the country. so the sun is the basis for life on earth. its magnetic fields and
8:14 pm
atmosphere, specifically the corona fuel a space weather that power the communication grids and it's a source of renewable energy for our advanced civilization. and that leads nsf to sponsor a wide array of research related to our local star. they tracked the development of sun spots, flairs and curoanal mass ejections. they work to better understand how these phenomena are associate would the magnetic field which fuels the space weather events that can wreak havoc on our technology. so during the eclipse the high altitude observatory of the national center for atmospheric research in partnership with the harvard smithsonian. this instrument collected infrared data to probe the complex magnetic environment of the sun's corona.
8:15 pm
of course there aren't results yet. they'll be coming out over the next year or two. so researchers in general continue to study the behavior of the sun to develop learnings of solar storms that may be coming towards earth. so the global osilations network group, a network of six solar monitoring telescopes sited world wide provides full-time monitoring of the sun and critical element of sports casting models. so let me move to the eclipse and some of the outreach efforts. any funding that federal government put into this was leveraged by a factor of a thousand. by the plan teariums and amateur astronomers who engaged with the public. one of the activityies already
8:16 pm
mentioned and placed along the 2500 mile path of totalality. so nsf director who's shown on this slide was pleased to be in glen del wyoming, which i think had had 100 or a thousand fold population for one day. to experience the solar eclipse and participate first hand, you'll hear more about this from dr. matt penn. and the program called solar eclipse across america. this funded 31 projects in 21 states. now as far as the future goes, by early 2020 nsf's solar telescope, the new center piece of the observatory will be complete on maui, hawaii.
8:17 pm
it will provide researchers an unprecedented view without having to wait for a solar eclipse. the enhanced understanding of the sun and the origin of solar storms will undoubtedly contribute to better space weather predictions in the future. this was a great opportunity for citizen init gaugement in an event that brought a sense of wonder and curiosity to citizens alike. it will revolutionize our understanding of the sun in the future. we're looking forward to the next eclipse in 2024. there will also be an annualer eclipse in 2023. so a six month ahead rehearsal and we're pleased to enjoy the support of the public in fulfilling our role. we thank the subcommittee efforts in our efforts to serve the people of the united states. >> now recognize doctor.
8:18 pm
>> madam chair, members of the subcommittee, i represent the thousands of volunteers, partners and nasa employees who made the 2017 eclipse the biggest media event in nasa. i would like the describe nasa's experience with the eclipse, our science and stem efforts and discuss how important helio physics is for nasa's missions. monday, august 21st, solar eclipse occurred for the firs time in almost a century in the u.s. and my own vantage point was 35,000 point over the pacific ocean in an aircraft equipped with expeerments to take pictures. it was really breath takings. look. >> that's incredible. do you see that little beach.
8:19 pm
do you see the -- it's absoutlooly amazing. just look at this background. we're in the middle of a dark cloud. so it's popping back out. >> there it comes. >> wow. see the ring around it. that's the solar ring. so cool. >> unbelievable. >> i've done research on this for 25 years. i've never seen it, you know. >> so i was excited, you may be able to tell. i was so excited i mixed up the colors. it's called a diamond ring, not the solar ring. if you want to quote that. our nasa team and scientists
8:20 pm
have been planning for this eclipse for many years and with me at had the hearing is dr. alex young. our project manager has been a champion for the eclipse and working with the gnanasa team f over three years. they focussed on safety, science and education and public engagement. to accomplish these priorities, we knew we couldn't do it alone. the had entire agency rallied and major functions and events. there was nearly 7,000 libraries, 200 museums, planetary and science center and that 20 national parks, zoos and even baseball stayed y78s. more than 50 million unique viewers watched across multiple nasa and media platforms and 90
8:21 pm
million pictures on eclipse day alone on the nasa website. these numbers exceed previous records by many times over. it was really clear not only professionals were deeply moved but amateurs alike. this is truly moving. that's what nasa science does for us every day. showing now our views of the solar eclipse from various nasa assets. 11 of them were focussed on this unique event as well as aircraft. just like the congressman think ogof the park we saw a probe which we'll travel closer to the sun, really making these unique observations and revolutionizing our understanding of the sun, which is really the rosetta stone of understanding of all stars in the universe. additionally we wanted to take advantage of unique opportunities to do science.
8:22 pm
11 grant tees were selected. seven were measuring how the sun's energy effects this reach and this region of the outer atmosphere. cold will continue to improve after the launching later on. our understanding and prolific capability for what is happening to that region and the edge of space. we also want to stress citizen sienls and i'm going to let matt talk about this. it's valuable to have science done by citizens, not just professionals and there's true value with this, not just here but elsewhere. with safety a top priority, we publish proet collars on our websites and partnered with nsf and others to spread the word. this provided -- proouved critical when it was discovered that uncertified solar glasses were making to the market. we owe a debt of gratitude to communicate which glass were
8:23 pm
safe. we distributed our 4.3 million glasses. let's talk about solar and space physics as others refer to it that protects and improves life on earth. this provided the unique opportunity of seeing the source of space, whether with our naked eye. the atmosphere of our magnetic star. this corona impacts the earth through the solar wind explosions on the sun, flairs and innerjtic particles effecting our space assets and technological infrastructure. so we want to make these improvements better for the dod. so i too suggest that we start making plans for the next solar eclipse in the u.s. on april 8, 2024. it's going to be another great opportunity for all of us to learn about the solar system we live in and i really suggest you get started with these hotel reservations. they got really expensive for
8:24 pm
latecomers. >> thank you. i now recognize dr. hamill. >> madam chair and members, thank you for the opportunity to testify about the total solar eclipse. on august 2014. disappeared from the sky. at the same time. about the sun's faint corona. the sun's corona is the source of solar storms. the term space weather refers to the effects. we live inside the atmosphere of an active star. in 1859 a monster solar storm, the carrington event stunned the world. telegraph systems world wide
8:25 pm
went hay wire. emating sparks that not only shocked the telegraph operators but actually set telegraph paper on fire. it's sobering to imagine the catastrophic social and economic destruction of a carrington-like storm on today's infrastructure including electricity grids, and communications satellites and that is why understanding the sun and space weather are critical national imperatives. eclipses offer one of the best opportunities to study the sun's active corona. but eclipses are rare. to study the corona without an eclipse, the national solar observatory is building the daniel k solar telescope for the nsf. when completed in 2020 dekissed will be the world's most powerful solar telescope.
8:26 pm
it will yield exquisite observations of the corona and magnetic field but let me return to the 2017 total solar eclipse because it too was a unique opportunity to solar science. and so began preparing more than five years ago, focusing their efforts on sienls and safety. claire and her team developed a social media campaign with a variety of content inhadcluding monthly web casts that focussed on science and educational engagement and on eclipse day nso marticipated in two major solar out reach events. the first was in wyoming. it culminated years of effort to prepare this tiny community of 200 people and the local sheriff's office estimated that
8:27 pm
185,000 people descended on tiny glendo, wyoming. including as you saw, the director of nsf. the second event in salem, oregon focussed on high school students. nso in partnership with other groups trained a dozen students, all of whom are minorities underrepresented in the stem fields to be ambassadors of science and on eclipse day the students led the programs for the community. looking to the future as you heard another total eclipse will sweep the country from texas to maine and we are already preparing. we plan to engage with students in underrepresented demographic groups well in advance of the 2024 eclipse to prepare a new set of students to be community leaders and science ambassadors and finally my colleague, matt penn developed an eclipse program to combine public engagement with science and i'd
8:28 pm
like to share a video about several young people in dr. penn's citizen cate program. >> they're from a native american reservation school in northern montana. they took a road trip with their science teacher to watch and study the eclipse. >> it's just amazing opportunity for the kids because this is real-life science and it helps them be exposed to what kind of opportunities there might be in the future. >> reporter: these students are one of 68 teams nation wide who participated in an amateur science experiment called citizen cate. >> we're trying to get pictures so we can study the corona. >> reporter: darkness descended on the town and the site they've been waiting for revealed itself. a total solar eclipse. goodfore they knew it, it was over. >> yeah, we got few pictures. >> reporter: but for these kids from a remote native american
8:29 pm
reservation, two minutes and 27 seconds will stay with them for a lifetime. >> something you don't forget. it's really pretty. >> this eclipse changed their lives and their citizen cate observations may improve our lives. they helped us gather the largest volume of science quality eclipse data ever recorded and i will turn the microphone over to dr. penn to describe his program. i aappreciate your attention an happy to answer any questions. >> now recognize dr. penn. >> madam chair members of the chair committee, while she was crying tears of joy in wyoming, jack erickson and his students in vale, arizona were close to tears but for a completely different reason. if i could have my first slide,
8:30 pm
it was raining at their site. jack and his students were really eager to collect data. along the way they had had spoken with many newspaper and tv reporters about the program. this media coverage followed many of our cate teams across the nation. from doing a stem project and observing the sun. a total solar eclipse opens up a window that allows us to study the innercorona and the citizen kate experiment was designed to take advantage of that opportunity. it fills the gap of the 234dsing we have. specifically we're trying to measure the solar wind above the
8:31 pm
north and south poles of the sun as it moves through thin magnetic structures we call solar plumes. just like watching your daughter drink a milkshake through a transparent straw, you can track features. we can use the cate data to measure the velocity of the solar wind that way. but unlike a milk shock, the wind has important implications for space weather. so on it day of the eclipse, the 62 of our skalth site -- 68 sites collected images of the corona. on the day of the eclipse, miles returned to alma mater and took data on the 50-yard line in a stadium filled with 5,000 cheering fans. we can see in the third sky that sky is clear. they were able to capture images with their telescope. you can see the corona that's
8:32 pm
been filtered to show you what you might see with your eye and on the right a highly enhanced image that brings out details you can't see with your eye. each of the images shows the solar atmosphere across the region more than a million miles across on each side. where you have two min 2509s view the curoan aa, you don't see a lot of changes but when it's combined allows us to see changes across 90 minutes of time. i put together a very rough cut movie. we collected over 45,000 images of the corona that day but in the four weeks i've only been able to process about 400 of them to show you today. if we imagine the moon is a clock face at about the 7:00 position, you can see a system of out flows moving away from the sun. these are traveling about 20 -- and if you look cloche closely
8:33 pm
at 5:00, we thing this is solar wind traveling at something like 200,000 miles per hour or faster. we're getting a new view of the solar corona we haven't seen before. a lot of science will follow. i'd like to close by saying a total solar eclipse is built on uplifting and humbling experience at the same time. it teaches us we're smart enough to know when these will occur. the next eclipse visible across the united states will occur on april 8, 2024. but if we go further and find out when is the next one visible from dallas, texas. it will occur 1:57 p.m. in the year 2345. so mark your calendars, please. a total solar eclipse is a humbling experience because it teaches us we have no control over the huge bodies that cause
8:34 pm
eclipses. it reminds us we're just little people sitting on a big rock watching the show. it doesn't matter your nationality, age or genter, it's a moving and human experience. so i'm looking forward to enjoying the next experience in april of 2024 and looking forward to answering any questions you might have as well. >> and now we'll hear from ms. -- >> madam chairwoman and members of the subcommittees, thank you for this opportunity to testify. millions of people across the united states gathered. friends, families and strangers gathered by the hundreds, thousands or 10s of thousands in public spaces. they gathered in small groups or found places to be alone. the goal was the same. look up at the sky at an astronomical skeptical that hadn't been seen for several decades. planning started several years
8:35 pm
ago. organizations such as the astronomical society and the astronomical society of the pacific helped groups talk to each other. nasa served as clearing houses of reliable scientific content to help the media, public and educators engage with the eclipse phenomenon. the university at carbondale and u university planned many organizations. al places organized events frathose that could not travel to the path of totalalitied to view the partial eclipse. these were massive efforts that reached millions of people across the country. we had several goals for our programs. increase the capacity of organizations around the area to host their own eclipse observing events. make residents, the surrounding suburbs aware of what was
8:36 pm
happening and empower with the skills and tools to eclipse them schbls. a trusted source of inform fragz the public and media. provide eclipse resources for those that might not otherwise have access to them. reach traditionally underserved audiences. get them interested in our universe. even if they had not been interested previously and this was chicago's eclipse to share. our events were free and open to everyone. in addition to our programs in chicago and the surrounding suburbs, we brought our gal ax ride out reach program to people in several rural communities in southern illinois. we were also honored to be asked by southern illinois university to assist them with several eclipse events that garnered attention. we distributed, free of charge over 250,000 safe eclipse viewing glasses, including 10,000 given to schools to help students and teachers in the
8:37 pm
chicago area watch the eclipsz during the school day. the chicago public library system and libraries throughout the region held viewing activities across many branchs. park district parks held district events. the mortb arboretum and wonder works children's museum held viewing opportunities that welcomed thousands more participants. we empowered people to find safe and easy ways to view the eclipse via other means. the eclipse block party attracted 60,000 people. which is 10 times the highest number we ever previously recorded for a sky observing event and 10% of our annual attendance. the audience was a cross seksz of the diverse population of chicago, including participants who had had never interacted with the other planetaryium previously. we expect to be over half
8:38 pm
million. what's next? how do we leverage the momentum and excitement from this eclipse to carry us forward? this is what out of school time institutions like the planet airium allow us to do. they allowed us to welcome more people. in addition to the collective inspiration provided by the eclipse, the other planetairium hopes this will also lead to one, financial and support for out of school time institutions to continue providing siensz activities to the public. two, support for institutions and organizations to communicate with each other and jointly plan and sustain small and large science programs have a variety of impacts and three, support for institutions to bring high quality siensz and engaging science activities at low or no
8:39 pm
cost to underserved populations in urban suburban and rural locations. we hold fast to our core belief that making science well kcomiw engaging to all. afterall, we share a sky above our heads and everyone deserves the opportunity to engage with it. thank you. >> thank you and i now recognize myself for questions. our five minute round. first of all, i need thank all of you for your role in what was just an incredible sort of universal experience that we all had. i loved watching the plane. well, my husband was with his cereal box, i enjoyed having that bird's eye view and it just was fascinating how all of the communication beforehand to get everyone participating, to get
8:40 pm
the glasses too, do the cereal boxes too, have those group, large group events. in my district we had the hazy center. so we were very -- and there was -- my daughter lived near it. i was trying to tell her to get over there and she said the traffic was incredible. so worse than the normal traffic we might have. but i take that as a great sign of the engagement. how do we now capture this in terms of directing this into stem science? because it was such a wonderful thing you made it a real teaching moment and how going forward can we get people more engaged in these fields and in stem careers? at nasa we're committed to continuing the engagement of science. we have really made a focus on
8:41 pm
telling the story, whether it's the discovery of planets else bear, whether it's about science of the sun, the earth. everything in between. you want to focus on that other stem activities. through a series of collaborations out of the science mission director are supporting activities across the country in a variety of centers that are focussed on both population, a certain groups but also on schools and museums to carry the message forward. we do so in partnerships with so many. >> that was -- the comments you said on children from the indian reservation and now you're engaging them and the diversity of folks you were able to engage in this. i did want to recognize and say
8:42 pm
three -- two of my students from my district who were active and doing this also, they were also two young women act rv in my young women's leadership program where we try to focus on science and thanks to kendall and regan here and kendall's mom, jean marie, so thank you for bringing them here. let me address a little bit about how you were able to engage everybody in that. so how can we make -- this is a particular interest of mine. we have the inspire women act that passed earlier this year. we're trying to get more women engaged in these fields. so maybe to our female witnesses how we might do a little bit more of that. >> thank you. we're fortunate in that the universe has granted us a second go round on this eclipse. and so the lessons that we learned from this eclipse about engaging the young people as
8:43 pm
being the ambassadors themselves to their communities is a fabulous way to engage young people in science and also into these leadership roles and that's what will keep young women and other people engaged in that kind of activity. we're going to continue the kinds of programs we startd and i hope we can try to expand those things as well. as you know from your experience, having the young people engaged, involved and being the leaders themselves is a great way to capture them intellectually and emotionally. >> one of our projects that the other planetarium had was to gi telescopes to libraries. one of our goals is increasing the capacity of communities. and so this wuz a great test of that but in the future we hope to do more of it and also work with other partners, other mu
8:44 pm
muses, and especially those we haven't work would before because this gave us an opportunity to reach other audiences. so reaching teams, reaching young folks, reaching other partners will be important to us, especially going to 2024. >> thank you and thank all of you again. it really was an incredible -- i mean all the work that you did and we can't thank you enough and i think we've harnessed a lot of that enthusiasm going forward for your stem. >> thank you. i hate to admit it but i was not in the country the day of the eclipse and i had had a neighbor when he's telling me his plans about driving from chicago to close to st. louis and they were going to -- waiting for the morning, the wealther forecast.
8:45 pm
they knew where they could go, see it. just something raised the excitement. and i remember from my own child hood and it wasn't anything like this. a total eclipse. i remember that. so it's a great opportunity and it's especially great to know that it's not too long. we're goehaving to the opportunity again. i wanted to sort of ask ms. nicholls galing about ways that inyou're going to use this to leverage interest in other of your outreach activities and longer term public engagement in science because you capture a lot of attention here, lot of people's interest and how do you sort of keep that going and also
8:46 pm
give the -- make sure people are aware of and draw people into other opportunities and other things they can learn? >> exactly. this is basically what the other planetarium does and what we're proud to do. the goal in the future. we want to not only reach people broadly, but we want to reach them in depth. and so we have several programs, especially those in our teen programs area that really try to hook teens but get them involved in real science and that's one of the goals is not just -- not just have people come out and enjoy the eclipse for one day, give them other opportunities to come back to the planetarium and explore other resources in the community to be able to go in more depth and one example is our ballooning program called far horizons and so we have ways
8:47 pm
for kids to be involved in that. taking real science data. and have teens involved in potentially recovering pieces of meteorites from the floors of lake michigan. and so these are ways we can really reach people, not just broadly but try to really focus on the fact that science is best engaged when it's real. >> thank you. anyone else? maybe they're working on in that regard? >> if i could interrupt. we designed the funding so that the groups keep their telescopes the day after the eclipse. it's a small network bought network of 68 groups that have their telescopes and the students who were really excited by the eclipse and are now really excited about stem can continue with their cate
8:48 pm
experimentation. >> so what have we -- anything that we've learned do you expect to learn getting more sort of beyond public engagement about potentially about solar storms, threat of space weather. what are the expectations from the data that was collected from the eclipse? >> so one of the most important elements. there's many. but one of the most important elements for nasa is that we were able, using this unique view, to test space weather models. so what we actually did is we tested models supported both by nsf and nasa and ran them on the fastest computers at nasa with
8:49 pm
days to spare and were making predictions that are now tested and analyzed and it really became a bench mark kind of test of these models so critical for space weather applications. >> thank you. >> if i could add to that, we used our stampede 2 supercomputer for one of those activities that the doctor mentioned but also our network of solar telescopes around the world, we used that to help make predictions and those are used operationally by noah and the air force for space weather prediction. so this gave us a chance to test the model that we're using from those observing telescopes and see if what they predicted was close to the truth or not. and that will enable us to refine the models and do better in the future. >> thank you. my time is up. i yield back. >> yes, sir. now recognize myself. i'm braen baben from the
8:50 pm
university of texas and i'm sitting in for our subcommittee chairman. i'd like to ask you, doctor, nasa is launching the parker solar probe next year zurbuchen, nascar is going to try to get closer to the sun than ever before. what technology advancements allow that to work and what do we hope to learn? >> this is something they wanted to do since the '60s. it's all clear it's a wind and storms are affect our technological society. the technology enabling the solar probe are really an advanced heat shield. if this thing gets really hot in the front end and back, you can set the room temperature.
8:51 pm
in the middle is high technology heat shield and the second one is high temperature solar panels. if you took a regular solar panel to make solar energy out there from here it won't work because it gets too hot and the panel is short. the panels developed for that particular mission were panels that sustained the temperature. so be down there at that close solar distance and work. those are the enabling technology systems that stand out in my mind. what we hope to get from it are measurements focused on answering the pivotal question here, which is how does the sun accelerate the solar wind? we don't actually know the heat sticks and corona understanding physics not only will tell us about space weather but magnetic stars and channel and we know effects are everywhere.
8:52 pm
this we wanted to do a long time is finally in reach. >> thank you jchlt very fascinating. dr. hamel, i'm very interested in the carrington event i read about, i think it was you that mentioned it earlier, how likely do you think another catastrophic event like this will happen in the next, say, decade? do we have any good pre-detective models for this? what are we currently doing? one big topic today, our infrastructure, electric grid, whether man-made or some natural disastrous event like this? if you can answer some questions and elaborate, i'd appreciate it. >> sure. as you heard from dr. zurbuchen, one of the roles that happened
8:53 pm
was exercising our models and our models that determine whether an event like the carrington event will happen in the future. yesterday, preparing for this we had discussions, how likely is it? we're curious, too. there have been studies predicting the probability of something like this happening is 10% per decade. not everybody agrees with that. that's just one of the models. you do the math and think about when the carrington event took place, where we are now, how many decade is that? probability, we're pretty close to having another one. there have been in recent months very large scale solar flares that have taken place and fortunately not directed at the earth. we have escaped for now.
8:54 pm
is there evidence solar storms have affected airplane navigation, lower level effects. it's real and it's going to happen sooner or later and important we prepare for that. what are we doing to prepare for that? a lot of people are thinking about that. every jeer, there's meetings to get together a lot of people interested trying to mitigate, how to set up our infrastructure so it is more robust, how to prepare our satellites so if we know an event is going to happen, what can we do to power them down so they are not quite as severely damaged. i know there are many groups in the government working collaboratively together, nasa, air force, fema, all the groups
8:55 pm
talking about this. it's a subject on people's mind. >> i will add for the last three years under the national science technology council there's a group called operation research and mitigation task force, they produced the space weather action plan back in late 2015. that involved, as dr. hammel said, nasa and nsf. fema is involved and department of energy how to predict solar storms and what is your response and how do public utilities respond and given a solar storm of a certain magnitude, what do they do? that's the things this solar task force is wrestling with. one of the things we've been working on establishing
8:56 pm
benchmarks for the level of solar activity that could cause us to recommend certain actions as a government. that's what's going on and in my daily world i wouldn't interact with fema and i think it's good we have this opportunity throughs the task force. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. i want to say i've been very active with fema, too, because we had hurricane harvey. appreciate your testimony. i'd like to recognize miss bonamici. >> thank you. i'm from oregon so this was a very big deal in our state. the estimate was we had 4 million people come into our state. we only had 4 million people in oregon and it was significant to our state and inspiring and we had hobbyists and families traveling to my home state.
8:57 pm
the science and energy hosted an event and oregon state hosted exhibits, educational lectures. the university had research projects they initiated on the coast. a team of students from the community college and osu launched a balloon from the research vessel, pacific storm, to capture live video and investigated altitude temperature and pressure variations. that was exciting. the ocean's observatory initiative studied how zoo blank tons responded to the darkness an hour before the sky started going dark and started their night time feeding and the ocean temperature barely moved even at totality. >> from what i personal felt, and i was at 99% in my own
8:58 pm
neighborhood. the temperature dropped significantly, something everybody could feel, a significant drop in the temperature. as the sky began to turn dark, we saw the wavy lines. it was an amazing ah inspiring experience. i wanted to ask you, dr. penn, about citizen kate. i saw how many sites you had across the state of oregon. what a great way to capture so much as the eclipse moved across the country. can you talk about -- and i read a little bit and heard about your funding challenges along the way. can you talk about the importance of the federal funding from nasa and nsf? i know that was big part. as we set budget priorities here it's yet to have yet another example where federal funding made a difference. >> yes. we started out in 2016 by
8:59 pm
getting a grant from nasa to do some student training. myles was one of the students and we packed up a bunch of students with telescopes to go to indonesia to get on the job training for the 2016 eclipse. we had summer programs where they did research with their data and most importantly ran the workshops for 2017 volunteers across the country. that was really critical, not only took the burden off of me to train 60 teams but empowered them to learn about polar physics. building the implementation program was a challenge and i'm amaze at corporate sponsors. day star donated 63 telescopes and we had other major corporate
9:00 pm
sponsors. the national science foundation was able to bring us to a site, looked like we would get 30 sites, bring us up to the full 68 site total. it was a challenge but it was a great honor to be involved with that. my favorite story is color maker makes food dye but the ceo is an avid astronomer and read about our program and respond -- sponsored five sites. miss nichols-yehling, i know from your work as a planetarium, you have experience. how did you reach audiences and schools not typically engaged in out of school activities. >> about three years ago we were work, libraries to bring telescopes to them and teach folks how to use the telescopes and they were able to use them
9:01 pm
on the day of the ellipse. we plan to keep that program going forward and reach other libraries, institutions, schools, that sort of thing. we worked with other institutions including a botanic garden with things that would connect with their audience such as seeing the eclipse shadows through the leaves on trees and look them on the ground. >> i'm on the education committee as well as the science committee. i heard a concern some of the schools were planning to close because they were concerned they wouldn't be able to protect students' eyes. it seems like a lost opportunity. we need to prepare ahead for the next eclipse to make sure this is a great wonderful learning opportunity for students and get those glasses and make sure everybody knows. that was a real serious concern in oregon. in my remaining few seconds --
9:02 pm
there won't be enough time follow-up on what are the lead theories about why the corona is so hotter than the surface and what are we hoping to learn and how will the experiments in 2017, how will they advance the heating of the coronal area? >> yes. >> the heating issue is being addressed by several of my colleagues and we hope to get a handle on that. accelerating winds is another problem and should address that. >> as i yield back, chairwoman, in february, 1979, at the time of the eclipse then, "abc news" report at that time said about the world on august 21st, 2017, may the shadow of the moon fall on the world at peace made in we
9:03 pm
say that about 2024. i yield back. thank you, madam chair woman. >> thank you. i recognize mr. beyer. >> thank you. we called this the great american eclipse. what will we call the next one? >> that's a good question. do you have a suggestion? >> you have to be careful like saying this is my favorite child. >> i know. i worried about it, too. i don't know. i don't have a good idea at this moment. >> we can have a contest. >> we should. >> i've always been concerned, is it just accidental we look in the sky and the disc of the moon looks about the same size as the disc of the sun. do you fig if the moon or bigger or smaller the eclipse would
9:04 pm
look the way it was. is that accidental or something bigger driving this? >> we live in a fortunate time in that sense. the earth is slowing down due to tidal rotations from the moon. as the earth slows down the moon moves further away. i was curious about your question myself thinking when is the moon going to be too far away to not ever have a total solar eclipse again. it's hundreds of millions of years so we have some time yet. >> rather than accidental? >> if you go into theories why humans appeared on earth at a certain time you could probably come up with something but i don't think there's any scientific reason the moon and the sun happened to be the same angular size right now. >> i think we will recommend to our chairman and chairwoman we
9:05 pm
will have a hearing on anthropomorphism and invite you back. on the solar probe, how long will this survive. 2:48? >> i think it will make several passes, i'm not an expert. several orbits. >> i think it's a 7 year mission duration. hopefully it will survive even longer. it's skrarnging down. the first time it flies by and near venus and mercury and taking the close part of the ellipse closer and closer until it's at 9.8 solar radii and we live at 15, just for scale. >> when the doctor was on the plane looking at the eclipse, he didn't have the glasses on.
9:06 pm
do you not need the glasses when it's at totality? >> i brought my glasses for this very purpose. actually, once totality has been achieved you can take off the glasses and then you have a fantastic view. you need these glasses when any little piece of the sun is exposed. i'm so sorry you only saw a 99% eclipse. >> it was awesome. >> yeah. but it's even awesomer when you can get into the path of totality. the difference between 99% and 100 is literally the difference between day and night. even that tiny little piece of the sun is a million times brighter than the corona. once you have that last bit disappear behind the moon, everything changes, everything changes. i hope for 2024 you make that trek to the totality line.
9:07 pm
>> as mark twain said the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. >> yes. >> i'm struck by the notion the testimony was we gave out 4.3 million glasses and does it mean we have 161 people who can expect eye damage who planned to look? >> not at all. we can share glasses. the amount that leads up to totality, when you must have these glasses takes over an hour, takes quite a long time. so you put the glasses on and see the sun chips away by noon. then you take your glasses off and hang out with family and friends and put them back on again. there is a great deal of sharing that can go on. the cereal box is a fabulous way to do it as well and has the
9:08 pm
advantage of teaching kids a little bit about optics, how a pinhole can act somewhat like a telescope. there's a lot of other things. those of us that shared outrage shared in addition to the glasses. one of the lessons we all learned from this eclipse we have to be even more rigorous ensuring there are many many millions of glasses in the 2024 event. >> my own experience, i work closely with a teacher in virginia. she was training 500 of her fellow teachers that day, the day of the eclipse. they had ordered their glasses from am son. then, when this came about they couldn't be sure their glasses were safe, she and i brainstormed on all the other ways the teachers could experience the eclipse.
9:09 pm
i think we will take the lesson to heart because in 2024, the eclipse is in april and the schools will be in session so we want to be sure that everybody has the opportunity to experience the eclipse and can experience it safely. >> i now recognize mr. veasey. >> thank you, madam chair. i wanted to ask about the days leading up to the eclipse. like you're talking about, there is a lot of confusion about the glasses and amazon actually issued a recall about the glasses in the marketplace. i want to know from you about efforts your agency has spread for information about the glasses. so when we get ready for the next one, we're here having this committee today going into great
9:10 pm
detail about the eclipse and what it means. in 2024. >> they funded thes a stron mom call society with a web page of resources and it is fine if you know what to look for on the web page. but we need to be more aggressive ab marketing that kind of web page and information and pushing out to the public rather than waiting for people to stumble across it because it showed up on their browser. >> we as an american institution
9:11 pm
directed people there as a source of trusted information and we got our glasses directly for one of the trusted manufacture irs. for those folks concerned pushing other ways to safely view the eclipse. it went necessary to actually have a pair of glasses. there were many many other ways to do it keeping people safe. getting it through the media and regular traditional media in days coming up. >> you talked about steps learned, what about getting that information out into the public, do you think there's something else you can do when the next one comes aturnaround prepare even better? >> i would say get the word out sooner. it was hectic the last few weeks, getting phone calls and
9:12 pm
e-mail from people concerned every single day, working with our partners and media several lessons months ahead of time. >> i think it's important to recognize not everybody is getting their news the same way. my children mostly, if they ever see me, it's on instagram, which i don't know, i don't hang out there. basically, really looking at all the communication changes, i think what really helped with the glasses is people practicing up front, looking at the glasses and measuring. and declared days ahead these particular glasses were not safe and thank god for the companies replacing them using all community channels relevant and practicing and making sure we
9:13 pm
don't take it for a granite. >> thank you. >> i now recognize mr. foster information five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairman. i myself had the pleasure of watching the eclipse with children at the solar eclipse party at my district and interested in watching everyone from every walk of life in science because of the eclipse. i'm a scientist and tend to like numbers. i became aware of a nasa funded research project led by dr. john mueller, to see who prepared the eclipse and how people prepared it and how and when they viewed it. in the months and weeks
9:14 pm
following, this seemed like precisely the fact-based nasa engagement we should be engaged in. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record preliminary version. thank you. the team solar eclipse. with that out of the way, one of the things i want to mention about this just to capture one sentence from this is report. during two months prior to the eclipse, millions of adults engaged in a wide array of the acquisitions to understand the forthcoming event. to really understand that, i know dr. miller has an aggressive program to expand
9:15 pm
this and looking at social media to quantify this. if phenomenon of you have specific familiarity i'd be happy to hear comments. >> this study was funded out of the stem activation parts. we're really excited about it. both the coverage we managed to get all together, right, not just one source, what i wanted to point out a lot of studies are still olympian going. i'm really glad you're looking at this initial report but want to make sure we draw your attention to the final report once it's been completed. we feel it's absolutely crucial to social sciences to make sure your research active and up to date. >> good.
9:16 pm
always nice to see government doing its job well. to get to scientific things here, how much overlap is there in emp events caused by nuclear events? is this a separate set of litigation even though there are similarities and the time frame. obviously the skiptture i is way different. >> i can say a few things i learned about this from my fema colleagues. percent when they start thinking about, okay, what's the result of a space station weather event. they say here is what we have that looks like a face weather event. an emp pole says it looks like a
9:17 pm
says. weather o. within nsf we don't engage in that activity. they take as a starting point what they already have and instead of starting from square zero. >> one of the major differences between the two events is the geographic ex-send of the very. the real worry of the type that dr. hammel outlined earlier, it will be regional in nature. it would overload as a regional type of thing. there's similarities. this physicalics locally with
9:18 pm
the electric field goal up, the geographic effect and overwhelm extent of damage. >> all nuclear created events are not equal, depending orn you. i just wanted to share your planning on that. neither of the two events are low probableability high damage events is something our democracy does not do that well. i'm enkaurnged think you are not part of that problem. i yield back. thank you. >> thank you for what you provided for our students across the country. i was watching on the plane, seeing the web activity and
9:19 pm
captured. and now research going forward, it was exciting to see this in action. i do believe we have only left for voting. the hearing is now a14ed. the hearing is now adjourned.
9:20 pm
ul ves stad ulf stad ul ves tad
9:21 pm
9:22 pm
9:23 pm
9:24 pm
friday on c-span3, a look at cybersecurity issues concerning the government and private sector right here on c-span3. this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on lectures and history, university of virginia professor gary gallagher on the legacy of the civil war. >> the loyal white citizenry and american africans had very different takes as they went
9:25 pm
through appomattox service breaks. >> president clinton marking the 60th integration of little rock high school. >> i wanted to say, you did 60 years, take a victory lap, put on your dancing shoes, have a good time. but instead i have to say you got to put on your marching boots and lead us again. then at 7:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, we continue our series on photojournalists with an interview with darrell highkiss. >> you tried to be working especially the white house to have the optimum leps in your hand and maximum amount of film when ever something happens, because in just a split second
9:26 pm
it can be there and you've got it and the person standing next to you does or doesn't have it. >> at 9:00 p.m. eastern, hamilton playwright and actor, lynn manuel miranda accepts the 20153rd awater. >> when you're a theater kid, you learn to work hard to create something greater than the sum of your parts. the for the sake of something great learn to trust your passion and let it lead the way. without the arts programs i wouldn't be standing here and without alexander hamilton, very few of us would be here either. next on 3 span 3 a discussion about the u.s. options with north korea talking

12 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on