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Creating a Webcast of the 2017 Eclipse and Calculating Distances to Super Nova

eclipsed sun

September 2017


Robert Mitchell, Ph.D. in the Engineering and Physics Department, took sabbatical leave for Spring 2017 to plan and develop a public outreach project for the total solar eclipse to occur on August 21, 2017.

In cooperation with St. Ambrose University, the Quad Cities Astronomical Society, the Putnam Museum in the Quad Cities, the Edgerton Explorit Center, and the Leadership Center in Aurora, Nebraska, Dr. Mitchell produced a live YouTube webcast of the total eclipse from the Leadership Center in Aurora.  

Members of the QCAS provided the astronomical equipment for imaging the eclipse in the webcast, and the Putnam Museum and QCAS presented the webcast in Putnam's IMAX theater and offered onsite public viewing of the eclipse on the museum grounds (the eclipse was partial in Davenport).

In addition to the eclipse webcast, Dr. Mitchell used his sabbatical time to compose an article based on his research into calculating the distances to supernovae using the Expanding Photosphere Method, which has been partially supported over the past few years by the Undergraduate Summer Research Institute. He intends to publish the article in a professional journal and present the latest results of his research at an upcoming meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

MORE LIKE THIS:Engineering and Physics, Faculty & Staff News/Achievements

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