NASA Solar Scientist to Speak at Adventure Science Center on Thursday, June 15
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Mitzi Adams to discuss features of the Sun, eclipses and research efforts for the upcoming total solar eclipse
Nashville, Tenn., June 12, 2017—As part of their ongoing, special Eclipse Speaker Series, Adventure Science Center (ASC) will host a free evening of talk and discussion on Thursday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. The speaker will be Mitzi Adams, a solar scientist at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), who studies the magnetic field of the Sun and how it affects the upper layer of the solar atmosphere, known as the corona. Adams will discuss the remarkable features of our sun, the cause of eclipses, what to expect when viewing an eclipse and how to view it safely, and the powerful science research planned for August’s total solar eclipse.
Adams earned a master’s degree in physics after receiving “an offer she couldn’t refuse” from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and NASA/MSFC. With a professional interest in sunspot magnetic fields and coronal bright points, friends have labelled her a “solar dermatologist.” Adams sometimes seeks innovative material in unusual places and frequently participates in educational outreach activities like viewing solar eclipses and transits of Mercury and Venus.
Although the entire U.S. will see a partial eclipse, only those within the approximately 100- to 70-mile-wide path of totality will gain a rare glimpse of the Sun’s corona, a feature visible only within the path. Scientists will have an extraordinary opportunity to record data about the sun's corona that may lead to valuable insights into space weather, solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
“While solar eclipses aren’t uncommon on our planet, more often than not, the path of totality ends up over the ocean,” said Derrick Rohl, Sudekum Planetarium Manager. “Scientists and eclipse chasers across the globe often travel to remote locations in order to conduct studies and see one of the most beautiful, visceral celestial phenomena in nature – a total solar eclipse.”
Traveling as far away as Chile and Romania to witness solar eclipses, Adams has a shorter trip than usual to witness the 2017 total solar eclipse. Since Huntsville will only see a partial, she’s planning on being right here in middle Tennessee at Austin Peay State University to experience totality.
Adams is currently spreading eclipse knowledge by speaking with schools and community groups about the solar eclipse, the importance of safely viewing it, and the scientific research efforts that will be happening.
ASC's next Eclipse Speaker Series discussion on Thursday, July 13, will focus on the thrill of eclipse chasing. This combination panel discussion and Google Hangout will feature remarkable scientists and astronomy enthusiasts, like Bernard Foing of the European Space Agency and avid eclipse chaser Michael Zeiler who founded the Great American Eclipse website.
In addition to the Eclipse Speaker Series discussion, ASC will be hosting an Eclipse Science Day on Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included with general admission, the day’s activities include making hand-crafted corona art, safe versus unsafe viewing techniques, and a special presentation that provides a crash course in eclipses. Eclipse Science Day will also give guests the opportunity to see real lunar rocks and soil from NASA.
More information is available at www.adventuresci.org/eclipse.
About Adventure Science Center For more than 70 years, Adventure Science Center has been bringing science to life for students, teachers and families in Middle Tennessee and across the U.S. The Science Center offers engaging learning experiences and science fun through hands-on, interactive exhibits; innovative programs; and fulldome productions in state-of-the-art Sudekum Planetarium. Adventure Science Center strives to open every mind to the wonders of science and technology, fostering a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Adventure Science Center is located at 800 Fort Negley Blvd. in Nashville.
For more information about these programs, visit www.adventuresci.org/eclipse or call Alexis McCoy, Director of Marketing and Communications, at (615) 669-5094.