"Citizen scientist" eclipse data coming into NASA - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

"Citizen scientist" eclipse data coming into NASA

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WSIL -- The eclipse was quite a sight to see, but scientists used the event to learn more about the sun, and it's effect on earth.

During Monday's total solar eclipse, balloons were launched into the atmosphere all across the country, and right here in southern Illinois, to understand exactly what the atmosphere does during a total solar eclipse. While that data is still coming in and being complied, NASA was also able to receive instantaneous information from people just like you.

Whether you had a clear shot or fought a few clouds, it all boiled down to one thing: what can we learn? NASA asked eclipse viewers to become "citizen scientists" by using their globe observer app to log current conditions like temperature and cloud cover.

They plotted that information on a map, and it's pretty easy to pick up where the path of totality traveled. Throughout the event you can see temperatures fluctuate and where thick clouds made viewing the eclipse a little more difficult. Regardless of cloudy or clear skies, NASA continues to gather that all important data.

It is still going to be a number of years before we experience an event like Monday here in southern Illinois, but you can bet that NASA and every other science organization is going to use all the data that they collected, and the data that we helped them collect, to apply to the event coming up in just seven years.

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