Eye on the Eclipse: UMass Lowell researchers to get better look at eclipse

LOWELL, Mass. (WHDH) — Students and professors from UMass Lowell are making trips to Wyoming and Illinois Monday to get a better look at the solar eclipse.

“There’s gonna be all kinds of scientists taking simultaneous measurements that we can all collaborate on to basically check, do the models work?” said Ph.D student George Geddes.

The teams from the Space Science and Technology Center will be using high-tech imaging devices designed at the school to take pictures of the upper atmosphere during the eclipse. Their goal is to capture disturbances in space, called gravity waves, which occur when the moon blocks the sun.

“We’re expecting to see waves rushing into this hole that’s being made as this one little area of air cools off and sinks downward and the surrounding air rushes in,” said Dr. Tim Cook, an assistant professor of physics.

Cook and fellow professor Supriya Chakrabarti will be in Jackson, Wyoming. Their students are heading to Carbondale, Illinois, the closest city to where totality is expected to last the longest. Totality is when the moon completely covers the sun.

“We’re very excited that we could take our instrument and train our students on something that people have been wondering about for a thousand-plus years,” said Chakrabarti.

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