A group of Nevada researchers plans to take solar eclipse views launching a balloon outfitted with cameras to the edge of space just as the eclipse shadow rolls over eastern Oregon and Idaho. The balloon will reach 100,000 feet, roughly 19 miles, in altitude, as the eclipse shadow is passing. This is one of dozens of balloon launch teams positioned in the path of totality across the United States. Each team plans to time their launch to capture the eclipse at its peak. But this is also a rare opportunity for science experiments. College students at Tennessee’s Austin Peay State University will be measuring the sound of eclipse. In partnership with NASA, they will set up low-frequency radio experiments in bean fields.
Part of NASA’s map of total solar eclipse in 2017
At APSU (which happens to be near the eclipse’s center of total darkness), two scientists will be watching how crickets and cows act when the sky goes dark as the Moon covers the Sun. This isn’t the first study done on animal behavior during the eclipse. During this eclipse there is a hope to learn how to protect our technology from solar flares. Two NASA airplanes will follow the eclipse at 50,000 feet being used to get views of Mercury which normally we can’t see well because the position of the Sun. Some online applications were prepared to permit common people to participate collecting data for many scientific experiments.