Popular Science

Four ways anyone can be a scientist during the solar eclipse

Citizen scientists, assemble.
solar eclipse

There's a scientist in all of us.

NASA

Millions of people are expected to turn their heads skyward to watch the Great American Eclipse on August 21. You might be one of them. But did you know that you can enjoy this natural wonder while also helping scientists out? Here are four ways that you too can be an eclipse scientist—at least for a day.

1. Watch the thermometer drop for NASA

If you’ve ever wanted to join NASA, well, this won’t quite get you there—but you’ll still be working hand in hand with the organization that sends astronauts into space. The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program is trying to gather an army of eclipse-watchers across the country to collect data on changes to temperature and cloud cover when the moon momentarily obscures the sun. To get a sense of what your measurements could become, check out the data that GLOBE has already collected with the help of citizen scientists.

What you’ll need: a smartphone, the GLOBE Observer app, and a thermometer

No! You can submit data from anywhere in North America, even if you only see a partial

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