News & Media

Students from UW-Stevens Point crossed the country to conduct eclipse research

Students from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point traveled across the country for this week's total solar eclipse. Four research teams comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students made their way to Wyoming days in advance to get a head start on preparation. They recorded data during the total solar eclipse and in the minutes leading up to it, making observations on how the event affected the local wildlife.

Monday's phenomenon, a total solar eclipse that saw the Moon's shadow cross the entire continental United States, was the latest occurrence of what is regarded by many as one of the most awe-inspiring events in nature. Millions traveled to one of the 14 states that made up the path of totality stretching coast-to-coast in order to experience the full magnitude of the event, which is now thought to be the most photographed eclipse in history. An eclipse like this is also extremely rare; the last time an eclipse was visible across the entire United States was 99 years ago.

The rarity of the eclipse meant the opportunity to research and collect data was too good to pass up. The teams from UWSP have been working together for months to prepare for the event. Student Jesse Jahn visited the site in May to make sure it was ideal for data collection.

"This has just blossomed into an incredibly interdisciplinary group of people who just are interested in what goes on at the eclipse," Jahn said.

The research group will present their research on the Great American Eclipse at UWSP in November.

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