Indianapolis News and HeadlinesOur World2024 Solar Eclipse


Scientists will study the corona of the sun during solar eclipse with the help of students across the country

Students will play a role in this important research.
Posted at 10:35 PM, Mar 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-26 22:35:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS — In less than two weeks, the once in a lifetime solar eclipse will give scientists the opportunity to study a portion of the sun they normally can't. Students will play a role in this important research.

The research is important and hasn’t taken place since the last time there was a total solar eclipse in Indiana, which was 800 years ago. The map below shows when and where there was a solar eclipse last in the state.

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Obviously since then, technology and what we know about space and the sun has evolved.


"For the first time we will be studying the outer layers of the sun, the corona, and we will be studying it in polarized light,”Dr. Aarran Shaw an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Butler University said. 

The Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse 2024 experiment also known as CATE was made possible through the National Science foundation and NASA. Butler University trained students from Indiana and Ohio. There are about 35 teams of students across the country and in Indiana that will spread out along the path of totality and make a movie of the eclipse with a special telescope they have all been trained to use.   

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"I've been interested in space and the stars since I was a little kid around six years old,” Kira Baasch a Butler University Student said.

Baasch is one of the students that will be studying the sun on the day of the solar eclipse. She is excited for the once in a lifetime opportunity.

"What I am looking forward to the most of this project is being able to work with so many other people and being too able to study something that I haven't had the opportunity to study,” Baasch said.

Once the images are taken from multiple parts of the country it will equal all to about an hour-long video. That video is something scientist say can be beneficial in studying solar flares which in some cases have the potential to interfere with telecommunication and satellites.

"If we can predict when these solar flares may happen these dangerous solar flares for example then that will help us prepare better for the event,” Dr. Shaw said.

Totality, which is when the moon lines up perfectly between the earth and sun, is expected to be about four minutes long here in central Indiana. Back in 2017 totality didn’t last as long making this experience unique. The total solar eclipse is on April 8th.