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As the total solar eclipse on April 8 draws near, the U.S. National Science Foundation will be celebrating this celestial occasion — which won’t be visible from North America again until 2044 — by sponsoring educational activities and experiments across the country.  In addition to the previously announced events at the Fair Park Cotton Bowl® Stadium in Dallas, the Solar Eclipse Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and the eclipse livestream co-hosted with the NSF National Solar Observatory on YouTube, NSF is supporting research made possible by the moon’s blocking of the sun’s bright light. This occurrence offers a rare window for professional and amateur astronomers alike to study the sun’s outer atmosphere — the source of space weather and phenomena like solar wind and magnetic storms. 

The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse 2024 experiment will mobilize about 40 teams of local community participants, or “citizen scientists,” who will capture continuous observations from the path of totality (where the sun will be completely blocked by the moon) of the lower to middle regions of the sun’s corona (its outermost layer). 

The experiment has three objectives: 

Determine the connectivity of structures that span the middle corona Measure the flow of nascent solar wind by characterizing small-scale dynamics that occur during the eclipse. Identify and characterize features and dynamics related to magnetic energy release processes in the solar

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