NASA urges people to wave at moon during Aug. 21 eclipse
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently confirmed the presence of the “Great American Eclipse,” which will engulf the skies across the United States on Aug. 21.
A grand phenomenon of this magnitude certainly deserves to be documented, which is why the space agency is using its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to capture its essence.
According to a recent NASA press release, people along the line of “totality” are urged to wave their hands and cheer as the LRO’s camera captures an image of the Moon’s shadow on Earth.
“I’m really excited about this campaign because it is something so many people can be a part of,” Andrea Jones, LRO public engagement lead at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said. “So much attention has been focused on the lucky folks who will get to experience eclipse totality, but everyone in an entire hemisphere of the Earth can wave at the Moon as LRO takes our picture!”
NASA also made it known that the Moon will be far enough from Earth during the eclipse, which will make the resolution of the images at only 2.5 miles per pixel.
“While people should not expect to see themselves in the images, this campaign is a great way to personalize the eclipse experience,” said Noah Petro, LRO deputy project scientist at Goddard. He added that the camera wouldn’t be able to capture people or buildings, but would still cover continents, clouds and large surface features.
Although people are invited to celebrate the extremely rare occurrence, NASA advised those who will be in the 70-mile-wide path to use proper eclipse glasses when staring at the Sun—even as it begins to vanish. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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