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CSC to participate in national solar eclipse study

July 18, 2017

Dr. Jeremy Weremeichik, assistant professor of Physical and Life Sciences at Chadron State College, tests a system to record the total solar eclipse in Starkville, Miss., July 9, 2017. The Citizen CATE Experiment system includes a computer, telescope and camera. Weremeichik will record in the path of totality near Hyannis, Neb., on Aug. 21, 2017. (Courtesy photo) Dr. Jeremy Weremeichik, assistant professor of Physical and Life Sciences at Chadron State College, tests a system to record the total solar eclipse in Starkville, Miss., July 9, 2017. The Citizen CATE Experiment system includes a computer, telescope and camera. Weremeichik will record in the path of totality near Hyannis, Neb., on Aug. 21, 2017. (Courtesy photo)

CHADRON – Chadron State College will be represented in the Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) Experiment to record the upcoming total solar eclipse Aug. 21.

Geoscience professor Dr. Jeremy Weremeichik and two assistants will observe the eclipse and record video and still images of the eclipse at the CATE site near Hyannis, Nebraska.

Weremeichik said the CSC team will use an 80-millimeter diameter telescope, laptop and a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor camera system fitted with specialized filters to record images of the Sun’s corona, which is typically difficult to photograph due to the brightness of the Sun’s surface.

In early July, Weremeichik tested the system in Starkville, Mississippi, recording both still images and video.

According to the National Solar Observatory’s website, the Aug. 21 solar eclipse is unique because the Moon will block the entire Sun, allowing scientists to measure and study the corona in detail

The Citizen CATE Experiment plans to record the eclipse with a network of 68 telescopes used by scientists, high schools, colleges and universities, five national science research labs and five corporate sponsors. The CATE website illustrates the path of the eclipse that will include 2,500 miles in the continental U.S. and last approximately 90 minutes. Each CATE site will record 1,000 images, creating a detailed, high-resolution data set.

In addition to Hyannis, the path of totality passes south of Alliance and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument north of Scottsbluff.

In light of the growing publicity around the Aug. 21 event, which is also the first day of CSC’s fall semester, Weremeichik urges all who attempt to view the eclipse do so only by following prescribed safety precautions.

CSC, as a CATE partner, will be able to keep the telescope and other equipment used in the study, valued at approximately $3,700, according to Weremeichik.

—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator

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