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Paper: Connecting the Great American Eclipse to NASA Astrophysics
Volume: 516, Celebrating the 2017 Great American Eclipse: Lessons Learned from the Path of Totality
Page: 307
Authors: Lawton, B.; Smith, D.; Squires, G.; Biferno, A.; Lestition, K.; Cominsky, L.; Rhue II, T.; Slivinski, C.; Godfrey, J.; Arcand, K.; Dussault, M.; Winter III, H. D.
Abstract: Astrophysics, here referring to the study of the universe beyond the Solar System, is one of NASA Science Mission Directorate's science divisions. The attention to the 2017 Great American Eclipse provided multiple opportunities to share with audiences direct connections between a total solar eclipse and astrophysics concepts. We did this as members of NASA's Science Mission Directorate Science Activation program. In this article, we share how we leverage the excitement of the 2017 eclipse to connect audiences to astrophysics themes, primarily the concept of shadows, to describe how coronagraphs help us detect exoplanets via eclipses-on-demand, and the historical visual evidence of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. We also engage our audiences in the process of science, making use of several participatory tools, and share the science and resources with informal educators through professional learning opportunities and with the help of NASA subject matter experts.
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