NASA Will Fire Three Rockets At The Solar Eclipse. Here’s Why.

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The solar eclipse will be here before you know it! NASA has announced they will fire 3 rockets into the moon’s shadow during the total eclipse.

During the solar eclipse, there will be an extreme reduction in sunlight. NASA will fire the rockets before, during, and after the peak of the eclipse

This is part of the Atmospheric Perturbations Around The Eclipse Path project AKA ‘APEP’.

Image credit: mrgenzoman

They named the project after a deity from Egyptian mythology.

Apophis is also known as Apep and is the serpent deity and enemy of ‘Ra’, the sun god. Um, it’s a little creepy to me, but ok.

They will launch the rockets from Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. This is the second part of the project, which had phase one last October during the eclipse, launching from New Mexico.

Each rocket will eject four secondary instruments the size of a two-liter soda bottle that also measure the same data points, so it’s similar to results from fifteen rockets, while only launching three.

said Aroh Barjatya, a professor of engineering physics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida
Image credit: astro.elif

So what are they looking for? Well, they say they are looking for perturbations, which are changes in the Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse.

They will measure changes in magnetic and electric fields as well as temperature and density.

It’s an electrified region that reflects and refracts radio signals, and also impacts satellite communications as the signals pass through. Understanding the ionosphere and developing models to help us predict disturbances is crucial to making sure our increasingly communication-dependent world operates smoothly.

said Aroh Barjatya, a professor of engineering physics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida

It’s all a bit over my head I guess… I would happily give up my cell phone and wifi, and even the internet and go back to a landline and much simpler times, but that’s just my opinion.

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