2017 Eclipse Detroit Lake Citizen Science

The eclipse was incredible! At the present, I am still getting the data logged into this short eclipse report.  We rated ourselves in the 95 percentile for statistical efficiency on the performance of the team and the instruments.  Some of the gear was not perfected until two hours before totality! Besides our highly efficient team, we also had a Canadian theorist and European Space Agency and Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope researchers helping us. In all, there were about fourteen people assisting us. All five radio telescopes used performed well at CATE site number three, the LEOS, Hercules II and the ICOM, in the UHF, c band, and s band collected data.

The initial primary scientific instrument at the site was the CATE telescope. This experiment is a Kitt Peak, Microsoft, and NASA telescope that was especially designed to image the Solar Corona during totality. Matt Penn of Kitt Peak is the primary researcher of the project. The telescope has a Point Grey CCD camera that takes seventy five frames a second. There were sixty one telescopes set up across the United States every 90 miles in the path of totality. The goal is to create a 90 minute movie of totality to study the mysteries of the solar corona.

The optical aether experiments also went well. The CATE system failed three days in a row because of low voltage in our electrical grid system, however it succeeded on eclipse day because of our clever low voltage booster. A special thanks to Mike Conley and Matt Penn for the Kitt Peak training efforts and software tweaking that the CATE team went through. My appreciation goes out to Directive Systems as well as Charlie Wessinger and Jeannine Schilling who operated the Hercules II radio telescope.

Many times, the sky conditions were marginal. However we weren’t worried because many of our experiments were in radio frequencies. Also the bright side, the smoky atmospheric conditions might act as a lensing filter. After the two year long project, on the final two week long push, we worked fourteen to sixteen hours a day on tuning the instruments and set up in my yard. We had the ICOM antenna delivered on Saturday to Detroit Lake from southern California from Ham Radio Outlet by Bernie Thomas, technician.

Eclipse Detroit Lake Experiment Sites

Upper Site B-4 Detroit Lake, second state park

1. ICOM synchrotron experiment: UHF, a HAM Radio with N/S antenna tuned to receive synchrotron radiation.

2. Gaussian neon laser experiment: A laser bounce experiment using strong magnets to look at deflection

3. CC neon laser reflection experiment: An experiment looking at internal deflection in a corner cube crystal lattice

4. Quantum diffraction experiment: diffraction pattern differences during totality

5. TOV French telescope: Eclipse Projection study using parabolic mirror to study projection

Lower Site B-4 Detroit Lake, second state park

6. CATE Telescope: Kitt Peak-Oregon: a refractor telescope system using the assist of two computers and software to image the Sun with a high speed CCD camera in infra- red light.

7. LEOS Solar Jove Experiment: L band, dual antennas collect light from the Sun to study the corona and photosphere. In this situation, it more possible to have less interference with Jupiter’s position on the ecliptic, below the horizon during totality.

8. Hercules II: S band, an atomic hydrogen spectral line radio telescope used to study radiation coming from the Sun before, during and after totality.

9. 80 MM H Alpha Coronado, Flare study: An H Alpha solar telescope use at looking at the Sun.

Note: The upper and lower Detroit Lake B-4 instrument sites were on two separate plateaus about four meters difference in height about 20 meters apart. The CATE was located by position using 14 satellites.

There was transit of the International Space Station during the eclipse across the face of the Sun! re check the data.

Our outreach coordinator, Michael Meo did a great job when the research camp was swarmed by 150 eclipse chasers. Professor Meo also helped with the set up and final pack up. Damani Proctor helped on many aspects and headed up the final recording of the LEOS system with Jay Kerr. Thanks to Krista Woelfer and Bernie Thomas who took lots of great site pictures. We also appreciated Muki and Jay Kerr for use of their creative graphics efforts used in the project. We were excited to see that fourteen year old Bianca came through to run the ICOM during totality as well as Hanna Cope who did the timing! A special thanks goes to physicist Jon Bendix who broke his collar bone on the way to his camp site after programming the ICOM. Mario Pedroza, Bernie Thomas, and others did a great job on ELLIE, Eclipse Interferometry Laser Light Experiment. The French TOV telescope from Geneva, Switzerland exceeded our expectations, used by Bree Dryfuss, Rose Kolwaski, Walter De Sagaher, Sue Lindsay, Robert Kraft Dianne, Claudia, and Sandra. A special thanks also goes out to Jennifer Godfrey Oregon State Parks astronomy ranger and Michael Fiddler, Jack Occonnel as well as other volunteers who were instrumental in the success of our data collection efforts making incredible things happen down to eclipse count down.

I would like to give a special thanks for support to the University of Oregon physics department: the Eddington/Einstein Experiment team, AAAS, NASA, AAS, Tektronics, Ham Radio Outlet, and the Portland State University, Pine Mountain Observatory, Microsoft, PCC physics departments for assistance, Bob Haas, Jeanine Schilling, Robert Ewing, Toby Dittrich, James Butler, Charlie Wessinger, Eric Sanchez, Todd Duncan, Richard Nicholson, Joe Earp, Greg Bothun, Jim Lindsay as well as the other researchers that had our instruments at other locations.

All the researchers know that they did their personal best to achieve great results. We have accomplished a new level of scientific excellence with the 8-21-17 eclipse and we thank everyone for their efforts.

Bob McGown: Principle Investigator CATE site three, RCA, PSU physics, mcgownrobert@gmail.com