Aug 19, 2017 | Updated: 10:39 AM EDT

NASA Will Examine Solar Eclipse to Gain More Insight Into The Earth's Energy System

Jul 21, 2017 08:13 AM EDT

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A solar eclipse.
(Photo : National Astronomical Observatory of Japan/Getty Images) An image of solar eclipse as observed in Iwojima Island, Tokyo, Japan on July 22, 2009.

The NASA scientist who works at the Morgan State University in Baltimore, Guoyong Wen is leading his team to gather satellite and ground data in three stages. According to NASA, those three stages are before, during and after the solar eclipse. Following the complete data gathering, Wen and his team will make a new model in order to estimate the amount of solar energy that reaches the surface of the Earth.

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This particular event is important to understand how our planet regulates its energy system. The event was inspired during the solar eclipse 19 years ago on Aug. 3 in Boulder, Colorado. When the solar eclipse passed the Boulder, a thick cloud appeared above and dimmed the ground, and this happened for half an hour and scientists who examined the event recorded the very low levels of light reaching the ground.

“This is the first time we’re able to use measurements from the ground and from space," Wen said about his thorough observation on the solar eclipse. "To simulate the moon’s shadow going across the face of Earth."

The scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will coordinate with the Southwest Research to collect the data and get more insight into the Earth energy system during the solar eclipse. In accordance with NASA's research, Southern Research has also prepared its Airborne Imaging and Recording System (AIRS) to get a high definition imaging system of sun corona during the solar eclipse.

In order to capture the data, the AIRS will be mounted on the NASA research aircrafts. The two WB-57 aircrafts will fly at 50,000 feet to capture high-resolution video and infrared data throughout the total solar eclipse. Moreover, this event is the first solar eclipse that covers the entire continental United States in 99 years.

Data from the AIRS and other satellite will be gathered for further observation. Scientists expect to gain further understanding of how the Earth main its balance of energy between the incoming radiation from the sun and outgoing radiation from the Earth.

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