2017 Eclispe
Our travels to Ravenna Nebraska for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse when more than expected. Thanks to our great hosts for opening up their property for us and over 1500 eclipse watchers, the Moffet Place just east of Ravenna. Below are some quick images that members took of the eclipse. More images to be posted later. What we experienced during this event was unbelievable, no words to explain it. You had to be there to witness this event, one embedded into your mind that you will never forget.











See you in 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in Texas.


NASA Space Place August 2017
This article is provided by NASA Space Place.
With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology.
Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!








The 2017 Solar Eclipse Across America
By Teagan Wall

On August 21st, the sky will darken, the temperature will drop and all fifty United States will be able to see the Moon pass—at least partially—in front of the Sun. It’s a solar eclipse!

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, casting its shadow on Earth. Sometimes the Moon only covers up part of the Sun. That is called a partial solar eclipse. When the Moon covers up the Sun completely, it’s called a total solar eclipse. As our planet rotates, the Moon’s shadow moves across Earth’s surface. The path of the inner part of this shadow, where the Moon totally covers the Sun, is called the path of totality.

The path of totality on August 21 stretches from Oregon to South Carolina. If you happen to be in that path, you will be able to experience a total solar eclipse! If you’re in any of the 50 United States during this time, you can see a partial solar eclipse.

No matter where you’ll be for the eclipse, remember that SAFETY is very important. Never look at the Sun when any part of it is exposed, like during a partial eclipse! It can hurt your eyes very badly. If you want to view the eclipse, you can buy special eclipse glasses. Go the NASA 2017 Eclipse Safety website to learn more about what glasses to buy.

If you are in the path of the total eclipse, you may look directly at the eclipse only when the Moon has completely covered the Sun. This is called totality, and it lasts a very short time. You must be sure to put your eclipse glasses back on before the Sun peeks out from behind the Moon.

You won’t be the only one watching this event! NASA scientists will use this eclipse to study our Sun. During a total solar eclipse, we can see the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. Usually the Sun is so bright that we can’t see the corona. However, when the Moon blocks out most of the Sun’s light, we can get a glimpse of the corona.

The surface of the Sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but the corona is much hotter. It’s about 2 million degrees Fahrenheit! The eclipse gives NASA researchers the chance to learn more about why the corona is so hot. In fact, while the eclipse will only last about two to three minutes in one place, scientists have found a way to have more time to study it.

NASA will use two research jets to chase the eclipse as it crosses the country. The jets will fly very high, and spend seven minutes in the shadow of the Moon. Researchers are using jets to help look for small explosions on the Sun, called nanoflares. These nanoflares may help to explain the corona’s extreme heat.

Whether you’re watching with eclipse glasses from the ground, or in a NASA jet from the sky, the 2017 eclipse should be quite a show! It’s a fun reminder of our place in the solar system, and how much we still have to learn.

To learn about what eclipse glasses to buy and other eclipse safety guidelines, visit: **link**

To learn more about solar eclipses, check out this NASA Space Place video: **link**



Caption: A map of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Image credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio




NASA Space Place July 2017
This article is provided by NASA Space Place.
With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology.
Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!









Twenty Years Ago on Mars…
By Linda Hermans-Killiam


On July 4, 1997, NASA's Mars Pathfinder landed on the surface of Mars. It landed in an ancient flood plain that is now dry and covered with rocks. Pathfinder’s mission was to study the Martian climate, atmosphere and geology. At the same time, the mission was also testing lots of new technologies.

For example, the Pathfinder mission tried a brand-new way of landing on Mars. After speeding into the Martian atmosphere, Pathfinder used a parachute to slow down and drift toward the surface of the Red Planet. Before landing, Pathfinder inflated huge airbags around itself. The spacecraft released its parachute and dropped to the ground, bouncing on its airbags about 15 times. After Pathfinder came to a stop, the airbags deflated.

Before Pathfinder, spacecraft had to use lots of fuel to slow down for a safe landing on another planet. Pathfinder’s airbags allowed engineers to use and store less fuel for the landing. This made the mission less expensive. After seeing the successful Pathfinder landing, future missions used this airbag technique, too!

Pathfinder had two parts: a lander that stayed in one place, and a wheeled rover that could move around. The Pathfinder lander had special instruments to study Martian weather. These instruments measured air temperature, pressure and winds. The measurements helped us better understand the climate of Mars.

The lander also had a camera for taking images of the Martian landscape. The lander sent back more than 16,000 pictures of Mars. Its last signal was sent to Earth on Sept. 27, 1997. The Pathfinder lander was renamed the Carl Sagan Memorial Station. Carl Sagan was a well-known astronomer and science educator.

Pathfinder also carried the very first rover to Mars. This remotely-controlled rover was about the size of a microwave oven and was called Sojourner. It was named to honor Sojourner Truth, who fought for African-American and women's rights. Two days after Pathfinder landed, Sojourner rolled onto the surface of Mars. Sojourner gathered data on Martian rocks and soil. The rover also carried cameras. In the three months that Sojourner operated on Mars, the rover took more than 550 photos!

Pathfinder helped us learn how to better design missions to Mars. It gave us valuable new information on the Martian climate and surface. Together, these things helped lay the groundwork for future missions to Mars.

Learn more about the Sojourner rover at the NASA Space Place: **link**



Caption: The Mars Pathfinder lander took this photo of its small rover, called Sojourner. Here, Sojourner is investigating a rock on Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


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