College of Charleston prepares with NASA for total solar eclipse

Source: Live 5
Source: Live 5

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - NASA will be broadcasting nationwide coverage of the total solar eclipse from the College of Charleston on Monday. It's part of an event viewing celebration.

According to the CofC NASA will have correspondents and scientists stationed across the nation to provide live updates of the eclipse during the telecast.

On Friday the college hosted a news conference with scientists from the college and NASA about what we can expect on eclipse day.

College of Charleston students and NASA Communications interns Caroline Schott and Bailey Laskowski are ready for eclipse.

"I can say for most of the students we're working with, I don' think many of us thought that we would get the chance to put NASA on our resume," Schott said.

They're not only excited about viewing it, but also working with NASA to help with preparations for the event on Monday.

"We're helping the staff from NASA learn more about the college and the area so that we can benefit each other," Schott said.

Laskowski feels lucky to be a part of it.

"It's amazing, it's definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity," Laskowski said.

Professor of Physics and Astronomy Jon Hakkila was at the press conference. He's also associate dean of the Graduate School.

"An eclipse is one of the few cases where an astronomical event comes to the observer, instead of the observer going to see the astronomical event," Hakkila said.

On Monday, CofC is going to have about 80 volunteers all over city and county parks and libraries to answer questions about the solar eclipse as its happening.

NASA scientist and Eclipse Lead for National Outreach Efforts, Alex Young, will be broadcasting live. He's also a solar astrophysicist studying space and weather in our solar system and beyond.

"One of the things that is really amazing is to be with lots of other people when this happens, to see people's faces to hear the excitement," Young said. "You are going to see people crying, screaming, doing all kinds of things,"

You might also notice changes in wildlife when things turn dark.

Hakkila saw an eclipse in 1972 in Canada.

"We were camping right over the end of a hill from a zoo, so when the eclipse occurred and totality occurred all of sudden we heard lions roaring and elephants trumpeting, we didn't know what was going on," Hakkila said.

Young said a colleague of his observed an eclipse from a boat. He said whales and dolphins surfaced outside the boat and stared at the eclipse during the phase of totality and when it was over they went back to their business.

"The fact that's it's ending in Charleston is just an incredible bang for the end of a wonderful event," Young said.

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