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2020 Total Solar Eclipse – Observations from the GLOBE Community

Image of the Sun’s corona during the eclipse on 14 December 2020, taken by Federico Gregorio in Junín
de los Andes, Argentina.

“On Monday, 14 December 2020, South America was treated to a fantastic astronomical event – a total solar eclipse. Those in the path of totality had the opportunity to experience an awe-inspiring sight – the Moon completely covering the Sun and allowing the Sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona, to be seen,” said Kristen Weaver (Science Systems and Applications, Inc.) in a GLOBE Observer news article highlighting the event. 

On the day of the eclipse, over 960 air temperature measurements were received from South America, 856 of which were in the area experiencing the eclipse, as well as 232 clouds observations. These represent contributions from nearly 100 unique observers.

“The path of totality stretched from Saavedra, Chile to Salina del Eje, Argentina. Observers in other parts of Chile and Argentina, as well as elsewhere in South America, were able to see a partial solar eclipse, when the Moon covers part, but not all, of the Sun’s disk,” Weaver said.

Path of the 2020 eclipse in South America. Credit: NASA

“Aside from the wow factor, eclipses are also interesting opportunities to observe how the atmospheric conditions change when the Sun’s light is temporarily blocked. To help our GLOBE program citizen scientists (students, teachers, and the public) with that data collection, we made available the temporary Eclipse tool in the GLOBE Observer app. This tool allows anyone with a GLOBE account in the area of the eclipse to submit air temperature and cloud observations. While we have more work to do analyzing the data, we wanted to give a preliminary report on the results of this eclipse and share some of the photos sent to us by members of the GLOBE community.”

“We look forward to seeing the results of investigations by GLOBE students and teachers in South America, as well as doing more data analysis ourselves.”

To read the entire article, click here. To read the article in Spanish, click here.

To view examples of data from past eclipses, student research reports, and tips for analyzing the data, as well as updates related to this eclipse over the next few weeks and months, click here.

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office