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Friday, August 4, 2017

Craters of the Moon News Release

Contacts:  Visitor Center 208-527-1335; Ted Stout, Public Information Officer 208-527-1330
Date: 8/3/2017

Eclipse Across America

On Monday, August 21 there will be a rare nation-wide opportunity to view a total solar eclipse.  Although Craters of the Moon National Monument is not directly in the path of totality we are partnering with the city of Arco, NASA and Idaho State University to provide a special viewing opportunity in nearby Arco, Idaho. The city park in Arco (Bottolfsen Park) will provide an excellent venue for viewing this rare astronomical event. There will also be numerous special events at Craters of the Moon leading up to and following the eclipse event:

Pre-eclipse Events: August 18-20 


August 18-19 Star Parties: 9 p.m. - late?
Join experts from the Idaho Falls Astronomical Society to experience the universe under our naturally dark skies. Opportunities for solar viewing will be available at the visitor center both days. At 9 p.m. each evening there will be a presentation about the night sky at the campground amphitheater. Then head to the CAVES AREA parking lot for telescope viewing of the skies above.

August 19 "Eclipses, Transits and the Search For Life": 9 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Join NASA scientist Steve Howell for a presentation about the history and current state of the discovery of exoplanets, planets orbiting alien suns. Starting with ground-based telescopic observations and the on-going NASA Kepler and K2 missions, he will highlight the most fundamental, important and bizarre discoveries yet made.The finding that small, rocky planets, such as the Earth, are common throughout the Galaxy has led scientists and NASA to undertake exciting new explorations of the night-sky and begin the search for life outside the Earth. Join us for this voyage of discovery, an exploration of one of the greatest pursuits of human-kind - the search for life in the universe. Presentation will take place in the CAMPGROUND AMPHITHEATER. 

August 20 "In the Shadow of the Moon" Presentation: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Join NASA scientist/educator Brian Day for a special eclipse presentation at the VISITOR CENTER THEATER. He will discuss what a solar eclipse is, and examine the various types of eclipses. He will discuss what to look for - a lot will be happening in a short time, and you will not want to miss any of it! The essential steps for safety in viewing a solar eclipse will be covered. After seeing this eclipse, you are likely to be hooked, so he will also discuss when and where your next solar eclipse opportunities will be. Brian Day, of NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, will share his experiences and adventures as an eclipse addict, having chased down eight previous total solar eclipses around the world.


August 19 USC-NASA Solar Eclipse High Altitude Balloon: 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Join University of Southern California (USC) Engineering students and Adjunct Associate Professor Michael Kezirian as they lead a discussion (8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) on the USC/NASA High Altitude Balloon (HAB) mission and discuss the engineering and science impacts of their atmospheric mission.  USC is one of 54 teams that will each launch a HAB to collect and live-stream video of the total solar eclipse from 100,000 feet altitude.  The team will prepare the equipment (starting at 8:30 am) and launch their balloon at 10:30am.  The mission is timed so that the USC/NASA balloon will be at the correct altitude when the eclipse occurs.  The Saturday HAB is a test flight in preparation for the solar eclipse on Monday.

Eclipse Day Events: August 21


USC-NASA Solar Eclipse High Altitude Balloon ": 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Join USC Astronautical Engineering students and USC Professor Michael Kezirian as they prepare and launch a High Altitude Balloon (HAB) for the Total Solar Eclipse.  USC is one of 54 teams that will each launch a HAB to collect and live-stream video of the total solar eclipse from 100,000 feet altitude.  The team will prepare the equipment (starting at 8:30 a.m.) and launch their balloon at 10:30 a.m.  The mission launch is timed so that the USC/NASA balloon will be at the correct altitude when the eclipse occurs.  The team will monitor from the ‘ground station’ the flight through telemetry, real-time video and image from the HAB.  Immediately following the eclipse, the team will recover the science instrumentation and return to the ground station in order to review the collected data.  At 4 p.m. the USC team will present preliminary results from their flight and discuss the data collected from their payload.

Introduction to the Eclipse focusing on Safe Viewing9:30 a.m. - 10 a.m 
Eclipse viewing glasses available for purchase from the Craters of the Moon Natural History Association at the visitor center.

Eclipse Viewing: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 
Partial eclipse begins at 10:13 a.m.; Totality from 11:31:03 a.m. - 11:32:42; partial eclipse continues until approximately 12:30 p.m.

Special Announcement: 1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Craters of the Moon Superintendent, Wade Vagias.

Space Science Exhibition: 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Learn about research at Craters of the Moon from NASA scientists affiliated with the Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration (FINESSE) research program. Stations will include displays and information about: Spectrometers, Exoplanets, Korean astronomy and a simulated volcanic eruption!


Lunar Rangers: 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Earn a Lunar Ranger patch by participating in fun activities! The only Lunar Ranger program in the universe is fun for kids and their parents.

NASA Research at Craters of the Moon: 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Join NASA Scientist and Idaho State University Volcanologist Scott Hughes for a presentation about space science research at Craters of the Moon. Two NASA-funded research projects are utilizing Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve as an analog for other planetary bodies. One project, Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science and Exploration (FINESSE) has research scientists, students, and teachers evaluating volcanic features to learn more about their physical and chemical properties in order to better understand similar features found on the Moon, the moons of Mars and even some large asteroids. The second project, Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) has a mixture of scientists, engineers, mission designers, and astronauts that develop and run simulated daily field excursions on “Mars-like” terrains.  Each daily excursion involves collecting scientific data as well as developing complex plans that astronauts will use when humans actually explore Mars. These two projects are tightly linked together and involve many individuals from universities and NASA research centers.

Post-eclipse Events: August 24 & 25Free admission to Craters of the Moon National Monument on August 25 to celebrate the National Park Service's 101st birthday!


View the Sun from the Moon!: 9:00 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Safely observe the sun with special solar glasses and filtered solar telescopes in various wavelengths. Learn more about earth's nearest star from an expert. Presented by the New Mexico Chapter of the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project. 

Ted Stout
Chief of Interpretation and Education
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve 
P.O. Box 29
Arco, ID 83213