Why are Thousands of Scientists so Interested in the August Solar Eclipse?

One group in particular is the Citizen Continental-America Telescope Eclipse Experiment, or CATE for short, which is a project by the National Solar Observatory. Using special telescopes, their plan is to record the eclipse at more than 68 different sites, including three in Idaho.

A Boise State University physics Professor, Brian Jackson, says most of the people involved are students or amateur astronomers.

“This is a citizen science project. It’s going to involve dozens and dozens of citizens across the country and so it’s a really unique opportunity for folks to get involved in active research,” Jackson says. He claims the goal is to study the outermost layers of the sun’s atmosphere, called the corona.

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