A total solar eclipse— already being called the biggest and best in American history by some— will cross the continental U.S. August 21. It will be the first total solar eclipse seen in the continental U.S. in 38 years, and the first to sweep across the entire country in 99 years.
The path of totality will cross the PARI campus at 2:36:44 p.m. EDT and last for 1 minute, 47 seconds. It will be a historic moment, the first time a total solar eclipse has occurred at a site equipped with 26-meter radio telescopes. No one knows what will be learned by pointing these giant instruments at the Sun during totality, but scientists will be on hand to find out.
Teams of NASA scientists will also be at PARI, conducting two different eclipse experiments. It is a fitting return for the nation’s space agency, for it was NASA that selected the 200-acre campus for the site of its East Coast satellite tracking station during the infancy of the U.S. space program, more than 50 years ago.
For this once-in-a-lifetime event, PARI will host about 800 dignitaries and guests. The event at PARI has garnered international attention and the visitors will include about 300 amateur astronomers, some from as far away as Italy.
For more information about the eclipse and totality at PARI, see: