SIU researchers travel to Indonesia to study total eclipse - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIU researchers travel to Indonesia to study total eclipse

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CARBONDALE -- A group of SIU researchers recently returned from Indonesia where they staged a practice run for a total eclipse.

It was similar to the one that will happen next year in our area.

After traveling more than nine thousand miles for a 2 minute window to see the eclipse, physics specialist Bob Baer and his team couldn't be happier with their accomplishment.

"It was really good practice," said Baer. "We actually got good data in Indonesia. We verified some things and we learned some things there."

Baer said the trip came about when he received a call from someone at the NSO about doing research for next year's eclipse.

"He was the primary investigator on a grant that I had a sub award on to actually image the eclipse from 60 different locations across the United States for 2017," he said.

When student Sarah Kovac was told she was going to Indonesia, she said it was dream come true.

"I was just ecstatic because I had never been out of the country," said Kovac. "I had never traveled for anything like that and obviously never seen a total eclipse. So I was really pumped, really excited to be able to go."

Baer expects to see much more of that excitement next year, when nearly 50,000 people are predicted to arrive in Carbondale for the eclipse.

He says he can't wait to hear the reactions.

"It's almost a life changing experience to actually see that in person. To see totality, to see the corona of the sun, naked eye visible, really big up in the sky above you," said Baer.

Baer told News 3 the trip to Indonesia was fully funded by NASA through a grant from the National Solar Observatory.

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