TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES


TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE DESCRIPTION


Subject(s):
  • Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, History, Statistics, Geography
Resource Type:
  • Detailed (15 and 30 pages respectively) descriptions of total solar eclipses, the GLORIA expeditions and the measurement of atmospheric thermal inertia during an eclipse.
  • Short (~3 minute) YouTube videos about total solar eclipses.
Weblink: Activity document (Reference PDF document).
2012 total solar eclipse ad video
2013 total solar eclipse ad video
Language(s):
  • English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Russian
Grade Level(s):
  • Secondary Education (12-15 years old), Secondary Education (15-18 years old).

Description:
A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully blocks the Sun from our view. This can happen only at New Moon and if the Sun and the Moon are perfectly aligned as seen from Earth. Total solar eclipses are one of nature’s most amazing astronomical events. These documents and videos provide detailed descriptions of how eclipses occur, what they look like, and what can be learnt about the Sun and the local atmosphere during an eclipse.


MEASUREMENT OF THE THERMAL INERTIA OF THE ATMOSPHERE DURING A TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE


Subject(s):
  • Astronomy, Atmospheric Physics, Mathematics, Statistics
Resource Type:
  • Analysis Tool: Online measurement of the thermal inertia of the atmosphere.
Weblink: Meteo web-tool
Language(s):
  • English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Russian, French, German
Grade Level(s):
  • Secondary Education (12-15 years old), Secondary Education (15-18 years old).

Description:
During the total solar eclipses of 2012 and 2013, GLORIA astronomers recorded movies and spectacular images (see 2012 and 2013 photo album). They also used a weather station to record environmental data, in particular temperature and light intensity. An interesting effect that occurs during the course of an eclipse, is the decrease of the environmental temperature due to the decrease of the solar radiation or ambient brightness. The interesting thing is that the phenomenon does not occur instantaneously when the Sun is completely covered but it occurs at a later time due to the fact that the atmosphere has mass. The time delay can range from 2-20 minutes, depending on many factors, such as the time of day when the eclipse occurs, the presence of nearby bodies of water such as a lake or ocean, proximity to wooded areas, etc.
Using this interactive web-based tool, you can measure the thermal inertia during the 2012 expedition for yourself and compare your result to the values obtained by others.


MAKING A PINHOLE CAMERA


Subject(s):
  • Astronomy, Physics, Citizen Science
Resource Type:
  • Document describing a hands-on activity to make a simple, but effective, pinhole camera to make safe observations of the Sun.
Weblink: Reference document
Language(s):
  • English, Polish
Grade Level(s):
  • All

Description:
It is vitally important never to look at the Sun with the naked eye. This resource shows you how to make a pinhole camera, using everyday household items, with which to safely observe the Sun.