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Eclipse Megamovie Awareness Tour comes to CWC Tuesday

April 6, 2017

photo of an eclipse from Pexels

Multiverse at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory kicks off its “Eclipse Megamovie Awareness Tour” - a series of town hall and science education meetings in communities located along the path of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse.

This awareness-raising tour, deliberately planned to take place months ahead of the eclipse, began in Oregon, August 1-5, 2016; continued this late winter in South Carolina and North Carolina; progresses this spring in North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, and will be on its fourth leg in Wyoming April 10-14, 2017. Through its Making & Science initiative, Google will be working with Multiverse on the Eclipse Megamovie project, as well as working with educators and nonprofits around the country. Multiverse is coordinating this awareness tour to bring together all the various interested parties – such as civic leaders, fire and police departments, park rangers, business owners, librarians, school boards, scientists, filmmakers, astronomy clubs and eclipse-chasers – to discuss the science and impact of next year’s total solar eclipse on the local community.

Details:

The last total solar eclipse to run from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic across North America was in 1918 and the next one to do so will not be until 2045. Where will you be on this momentous date next summer? Luckily for the people that live within the path of totality, this unique experience sure to inspire a generation is coming to your hometown – along with thousands of visitors, scientists, and members of the media.

Multiverse is coordinating this tour to support communities’ awareness and education about the total solar eclipse and the Eclipse Megamovie project. Town Halls are designed to bring together all the various interested parties - such as civic leaders, fire and police departments, park rangers, business owners, librarians, school boards, scientists, filmmakers, astronomy clubs and eclipse-chasers - to discuss the science and impact of next year’s total solar eclipse and to serve as a community forum for civic leaders and public service providers to address the public’s questions and concerns about the eclipse and out-of-town visitors in advance of the eclipse itself. Solar scientists and science educators will also be on hand to educate about the science of the eclipse; to discuss how the public can participate in the Eclipse Megamovie Project, a crowd-sourced movie and science initiative; and to share curriculum, activities, and resources for teaching about the eclipse and viewing the eclipse. Smaller meetings and education workshops are also taking place to support teachers and other educators in deepening students’ knowledge about the sun, moon, eclipses, astronomy and physics.

Dr. Laura Peticolas, Director of Multiverse, says, “We want everyone to know about the natural wonder, scientific importance, and social impact of viewing a live total solar eclipse – it is truly a transformative, life-changing experience and we want to prepare people for that.” Many hotels and camping grounds are already booked for August 21st, 2017 as thousands of eclipse chasers have already planned where they intend to witness the event next year. Those just starting to learn about the eclipse are joining the chase and many thousands are expected to drive to points along the path of totality on the day of the event.

As excitement builds in anticipation for this event, Multiverse will be working with Google on the major citizen science project, the Eclipse Megamovie. This project, which is currently being proposed to the National Science Foundation, is an effort to create a scientifically valuable movie of the eclipse by having thousands of people take pictures of the event (some with very strict specifications, others as they see fit). They submit them to a website and the individual images are stitched together into a “Megamovie” - an immense trove of data for solar research scientists. A total solar eclipse is a rare natural occurrence that allows scientists and observers the unique opportunity to view the Sun’s mysterious corona from here on Earth, so this awareness tour also serves to recruit and enlist ordinary people to join into an extraordinary compilation of scientific data on behalf of scientists during the actual eclipse event in 2017.

The first leg of this tour took place at the following locations and dates:

  • Lincoln City, Oregon – Tuesday, August 2 at the Lincoln City Cultural Center Auditorium, 540 NW U.S. 101, 6:30-8:30pm.
  • Corvalis, Oregon – Wednesday, August 3 cohosted by the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State University. International Living Learning Center Room 155, 1701 SW Western Blvd., 6-8pm.
  • Madras, Oregon – Thursday, August 4 at the Jefferson County Library District, 241 SE 7th Street. 6:30-8:30pm. Special guest: Filmmaker Mark Bender screening his National Geographic Special “Easter Island Eclipse”
  • John Day, Oregon – Friday, August 5 cohosted by the Grant County Chamber of Commerce. Canyon City Community Hall, 129 South Washington Street, Canyon City. 6:30-8:30pm.

This second leg of this tour took place at the following locations and dates:

  • Georgetown, South Carolina – Tuesday, February 21 at the Howard Auditorium, 1610 Hawkins St, 6:30-8:30pm.
  • Clemson, South Carolina – Thursday, February 23 at Brackett Hall at Clemson University, 321 Calhoun Dr., 6-8pm.
  • Cherokee, North Carolina – Friday, February 24 education meeting cohosted by the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 589 Tsali Blvd, 2-5pm.

The third leg of the tour took place at the following locations and dates:

  • Brevard, NC – Friday, March 24 at Transylvania County Library, 212 S Gaston St, Rogow Rm, 3:30-5pm
  • Cookeville, TN – Monday, March 27 at the Oakley STEM Center, Morris Hall 103, 155 W 7th St, 7-8:30pm
  • Hopkinsville, KY – Tuesday, March 28 at the Hopkinsville Community College Auditorium/Lecture Hall, 720 North Drive, 6-8pm

NOTE:  Individual meetings will also occur in Nashville, TN on Wed., March 28

The fourth leg of the tour will take place at the following locations and dates:

  • Jackson Hole, WY – Monday, April 10 at Wyoming Stargazing office, 1085 W. Highway 22 Unit 1111, Jackson, WY, 7pm
  • Riverton, WY – Tuesday, April 11 at Central Wyoming College Theater, 2660 Peck Avenue, 6pm
  • Glenrock, WY – Wednesday, April 12 at Glenrock High School, 225 Oregon Trail, 10am
  • Douglas, WY – Thursday, April 13 at Converse County Library, 300 E. Walnut Street. 3pm for Eclipse Committee, 5:30pm for general public
  • Individual meeting with Wyoming Governor Mead in Cheyenne, WY on Friday, April 14 

Pending tours in May 2017 and beyond will occur in Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas.

Multiverse is pleased to be coordinating this effort with many partners and collaborators, and hopes to find even more and other allies interested in possible collaborations leading up to and beyond August 2017. This tour is about relationship building, education and public outreach, and anyone who has the eclipse “bug” will find opportunities for working together. Please contact Multiverse for more information by emailing multiverse@ssl.berkeley.edu.

About Multiverse: 

Multiverse at the University of California, Berkeley provides earth and space science educational opportunities and resources for a variety of audiences, especially for those who are underrepresented in the sciences. Audiences include teachers, students, education and outreach professionals, and the public. Multiverse partners with NASA, the National Science Foundation, scientists, teachers, science center and museum educators, park interpreters, and others with expertise in reaching particular audiences. With those partners, they develop resources and communities of practice, offer educator workshops, and run events for the public. Multiverse, previously known as Center for Science Education, has more than a decade of experience in solar eclipses, from global live webcasts to large-scale public events. The project is called Eclipse Megamovie and you can follow it on Facebook @EclipseMegamovie.

About Google Making & Science:

Google wants to inspire the next generation of scientists and makers by helping them develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. Learn more at MakingScience.withGoogle.com.