CLEMSON — People who want to contribute to science by photographing this summer’s total solar eclipse can find out how Thursday, Feb. 23, at Clemson University.

The Eclipse Across America Awareness Tour, co-sponsored by Google and Multiverse, the education and public outreach arm of the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, will present a forum from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Brackett Hall Auditorium (Room 100) at 321 Calhoun Drive. The event is free and hosted by the Clemson University physics and astronomy department.

Path of totalityClemson University is located near the center of the path of totality of the total solar eclipse that will occur on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 21. A total solar eclipse is a rare natural occurrence that allows scientists and observers the unique opportunity to view the Sun’s corona from here on Earth. The Eclipse Across America Awareness Tour serves to recruit members of the community to contribute to an extraordinary compilation of scientific data.

Google is collaborating with Multiverse on the Eclipse Megamovie project through its Making & Science initiative, a crowd-sourced movie and science initiative. The Eclipse Megamovie will create a scientifically valuable movie using the photographs submitted by thousands of eclipse viewers. The forum will cover the specifications required to have submitted images included in the movie.

The forum will feature astronomers from the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab and Clemson physics and astronomy. Astronomers will share ideas and resources for maximizing a safe eclipse viewing experience.

Laura Peticolas, director of Multiverse, stated, “We want everyone to know about the natural wonder, scientific importance and social impact of viewing a live total solar eclipse – it is truly a transformative, life-changing experience and we want to prepare people for that.”

Clemson’s physics and astronomy department is working with campus officials to establish recommended viewing locations around campus where eclipse viewing glasses and other resources will be readily available.

“Total solar eclipses are not only rare and beautiful, but they offer scientists unique opportunities to study our sun’s outer atmosphere and to observe light deflection of background stars predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity,” said Clemson astronomy professor Dieter Hartmann.