Anticipating the Solar Eclipse Celestial Event | New Hampshire Public Radio

Anticipating the Solar Eclipse Celestial Event

Aug 9, 2017

We get a preview of this month's total solar eclipse with a team of N.H. astronomers.  Although New Hampshire won't be in the "zone of totality," find out how to safely watch as the moon blocks out nearly 62% percent of the sun's light in N.H. on August 21.  The moon will being moving in front of the sun around 1:30pm, with peak coverage around 2:45pm.  In other astronomical news, we take a look back at 40 years of space exploration with  NASA's Voyager mission, the Curiosity Rover, and what Cassini has learned before it is deliberately crashed into Saturn.  


  • Mal Cameron - former astronomy and space educator at the McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center and coordinator of its NASA Educator Resource Center.
  • John Gianforte – co-founder of the "Astronomical Society" of northern New England and astronomy instructor for Granite State College and UNH.
  • Nicole Gugliucci -Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Saint Anselm College.

Find your location on the Google Eclipse Megamovie simulator to preview the solar eclipse and learn about the citizen science effort to stitch together images of the eclipse into a continuous, expanded view. 

A screenshot of the Eclipse Megamovie Simulator.

Check out NASA's total eclipse page for information and interactive maps, photos, and live-streaming of the celestial event.

For the visually impaired the Eclipse Soundscapes Project  will include audio descriptions of the eclipse, recordings of the changing environmental sounds during the eclipse, and an interactive “rumble map” app that will allow users to visualize the eclipse through touch.

Another way to watch live-streaming of the eclipse, from the prime viewing spot of Stanley, Idaho, is offered by a company called Slooh, which calls itself "your interface with space."  You  must register for the live-stream, but it is free for the eclipse event.

In addition to safe solar viewing glasses handed out at some N.H. libraries, including the Concord Public Library, visit Science Friday to find out five new ways you can safely view the eclipse:

Credit NASA

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord is planning many events around the solar eclipse.

The Mars Rover turns 5

The CASSINI spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since 2004, is being prepped for its "swan song" goodbye. On September 15, the spacecraft will be deliberately "crashed" into Saturn to bring its mission to an end. Find out more in NASA's Grand Finale Fact Sheet.

Cassini will end its mission with 22 daring loops passing through the gap between Saturn and its rings.
Credit NASA
More Citizen Science Opportunities

NASA has a number of citizen science projects for citizen scientists to participate in around the eclipse.

The JUNO spacecraft has sent back images from its closest-ever fly-over of Jupiter's famous Red Spot. NASA is inviting the public to play with the images to create images of their own.

Color enhancement of Jupiter's Great Red Spot.
Inspired by the messages of goodwill carried on Voyager’s Golden Record, you’re invited to send via social media a short, uplifting #MessageToVoyager and all that lies beyond  - one will be selected. Send a #MessagetoVoyager deadline is Aug. 15.

An artist concept depicting one of the twin Voyager spacecraft.
Credit NASA

The Planetary Society shares this video about how to make a pinhole projector: