Ashley Thompson | Features Writer
A full solar eclipse is a rare sight to be seen that only specific areas are able to see around the world.
On Aug. 21, the solar eclipse will be viewable from Clarksville, and APSU is going to have many events and projects to show during it as viewers from around the country gather to witness the celestial event.
The first of a few training meetings for interested volunteers to help out on the day of the eclipse was held on March 14 in Sunquist, with a presentation by junior physics major Jacob Robertson.
“I’m using this presentation to help teach some possible volunteers about how to safely view the eclipse so that everyone can enjoy it without hurting their eyes. I also wanted to talk about the projects and activities we are doing at APSU such as the Science Department and Outreach’s events,” Robertson said.
Robertson covered the kinds of questions viewers might ask volunteers and went over basic background for an eclipse.
He said there will be cattle observation experiments in reaction to the eclipse, a high altitude balloon stream, that NASA will be participating in a live feed of the eclipse, as well as how the weekend of the eclipse will have a set of many activities to educate and enjoy the event.
“I’m definitely torn between wanting to help with crowd control since that’s part of my job, or agriculture help for volunteer work on the day of the eclipse, but I definitely intend to watch it,” freshman management major Sarah Petrie said.
APSU’s annual high altitude balloon test is doing another live-stream with a new edge on the day of the solar eclipse as well.
Since his freshmen year, Senior physics major Dominic Critchlow has worked with the high altitude balloon project and spoke about the idea of viewing the eclipse from above.
“Once all of the teams get all of the stuff together and working we will be live-streaming the eclipse from there to our ground station. From there it will become a stream and NASA will be streaming as well so viewers will be able to click between the different steams capturing the eclipse,” Critchlow said.
“Since my freshmen year I was really interested in doing something research and so when professors reached out to me asking if I was interested in doing this, I was in. They told me I could really take this project anywhere I wanted to and so I started working on building the program code and now I’ve got a whole team that helps me make sure this launch goes well. The eclipse brings a whole new piece to it for this year,” Critchlow said. “It something I’m very proud of that whenever I’m asked about it or get a chance to talk about it I have to.”
The training session brought up how an guest astronaut speaker will come present on the weekend before the eclipse and how the main goal of the departments is to live stream the eclipse, and further educate the community and students on the eclipse as it occurs. Robertson said overall the departments are working hard to further in that kind of community involvement.
The eclipse is going to create an eventful and educational experience for the community come August 21st joining in the excitement of move-in day.
For all the events on campus, the Mathematics and Science Department are seeking volunteers that will get a free shirt. For more information about future training sessions, email Jacob Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.