The total solar eclipse bonanza arrives Monday. It feels like it's been talked about forever. Finally, the waiting will pay off. Your opportunity to see the Great American Eclipse has arrived.
Anyone along the path of totality will have the opportunity to do more than partake in an amazing experience. You can help create a film of the Great American Eclipse to entertain and aid science's understanding of the celestial event. Google and UC Berkley have launched a project called Megamovie that will collect photos of the totality as it crosses the nation from Oregon to South Carolina.
Once you've snapped a picture -- and it's probably wonderful because you brushed up on tips for photographing the eclipse -- you upload your shots using the Megamovie Mobile app or build an account here to upload images you shot with a DSLR.
When you're at your eclipse-viewing hub, the app will register your location and automatically start shooting 15 seconds before totality begins. The app will continue snapping pictures throughout the eclipse and into the beautiful "diamond ring" period at the end of totality. That means you can watch the eclipse under beautiful, clear skies while your phone does the work for you. (There's even a practice mode if you want to try it out before the big moment.)
The app will goes out of its way to remind you to take off your filter once totality starts and then it'll issue a reminder to replace your filter when totality is concluding so you don't fry the hell out of your camera.
"It’s really an experiment in using crowd-sourcing to do solar science, which will hopefully pave the way for much future work," solar physicist Juan Carlos Martínez Oliveros told UC Berkley News. "The app is going to do everything for you, so you just need to enjoy the eclipse."
The project aims to collect images from over 1,000 "volunteer photographers and amateur astronomers." Additionally, it's looking for images from the general public. The finished project will be stitched together to create a continuous image of the eclipse from coast to coast. It will also create an open an accessible database for scientists to study the eclipse. In particular, the images will provide a powerful resource to understand how the sun's corona changes over time.
h/t Digital Trends