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Accolades for Eclipse Soundscapes

The Eclipse Soundscapes Project is far from over, but before we move on to other exciting initiatives, we want to share some of the successes of our flagship effort surrounding the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse.

Basking in the Afterglow

We woke up to thunder the day of the eclipse, and loaded our equipment in the interludes when skull pounding downpours leavened to sheets of drizzle. Our significant others and friends and family along for the journey watched weather radars on their phones, and tried to mop up our damp spirits with optimistic reports, though all forecasts contained clouds. Still, we geared up and drove an hour and a half south toward totality.

Eclipse Excitement Evident at Arrows to Aerospace Event

On Saturday, August 19, NASA scientists took a break from reaching into the depths of  space and instead reached out to the citizens of suburban Nebraska to promote eclipse knowledge and safety at the Arrows to Aerospace Parade.

Three Reasons to Care about the Eclipse Soundscapes Project

 

Now that you’ve read all about the Soundscapes Project, you may be asking yourself: how does this apply to me? And that’s great! We love people who ask questions! The thing is, you don’t have to an astrophysicist, a diehard eclipse chaser, or a person with a visual disability to enjoy Eclipse Soundscapes. In fact, we think the more people our project reaches, the stronger it is. Here are three reasons you might want to pay attention to what we’re doing:

YOU CARE ABOUT INCLUSIVITY

Will Wildlife Sound Off during Eclipse 2017?

Birds suddenly stop singing, insects return to their nests, and creatures of the night sound off in the middle of the day. It’s easy to see why solar eclipses once elicited premonitions of doom. But scientists believe there is more than superstition to these changes in animal behavior, and with the August 21, 2017 eclipse, researchers hope to study exactly how and why they occur. That’s why Eclipse Soundscapes has partnered with the National Park Service, Brigham Young University, Idaho, and citizen scientists across the country to record audio data as the eclipse progresses.

Record an Eclipse Soundscape

Are you an audio engineer with mixing software? A nature enthusiast with birding mics? A regular joe with a free recording app on your smartphone? Eclipse Soundscapes wants YOU to help record environmental sounds during the August 21, 2017 eclipse. We are working with partners at the National Park Service and Brigham Young University, Idaho to capture changes in soundscapes as the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun.

Hear the 2017 Eclipse

The concepts of light and shadow are crucial to how most of us understand a solar eclipse. But what if you had never seen the light of the sun before? What if an accident or a genetic condition impeded your ability to perceive the shadows of nightfall? For 1.3 million Americans who are blind, and many more who are visually impaired, experiencing the wonder of a total solar eclipse may seem like a pipedream. The Eclipse Soundscapes Project wants to change that.

Our Origin Story

The Egyptian death mask was inconceivably ornate, so intricate that one could study it for hours and still find new details. But because the mask was under glass, a blind person could not touch it, could not run her fingers across the beads and engravings and smooth crevasses of the face. She could only raise her fingers to the braille plaque and read: Egyptian death mask.