tv NASA Holds Briefings on August 21 Solar Eclipse CSPAN August 20, 2017 6:36pm-7:00pm EDT
79, c-span was created as a public service by america's public television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite or butter -- provider. >> tomorrow, a total solar eclipse will be visible in the u.s. from coast to coast for the first time in 99 years. in a nasa briefing, officials talked about tracking the event and tips for those who want to view the phenomena. this is about 1.5 hours. let me introduce you to our first panel. the agency's headquarters in washington. vanessa griffin, the director of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration.
suit, the uniform there, brian. thety associate director of national resort steward science administration in washington. thomas, to you. >> thank you so much rain. duane. >> sometimes we forget that we are sitting on a planet that is turning on its axis. there is a celestial body right next to it, our moon. everything in the space, and the field of our star, the sun. it gives us life and is
supporting everything we do. it is also the rosetta stone of all-stars. what we learn about stars we first learn from the sun. the eclipse is important because alignmentes come into in a cosmic moment that we are all part of. these cosmic moments when nature speaks to us in an emotional way sometimes come loud like thunderstorms, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes. this one will be silent. all of a sudden, day will turn tonight and back again. animals, around us, will react to it. this emotion is important. you should talk to anyone who has seen such an eclipse. for me, the story i remember is my grandma who told me that story of her experience.
she was not a scientist. about experiencing that eclipse and how she was feeling how important that moment was. she talked of birds and animals usund and i hope that all of , all of you watching this, will enjoy this eclipse. it is important for that reason. it is also about science. eclipses have been important in finding discoveries that have changed our lives. 1868 was an eclipse in that, for the first time, provided images of an emission we had never seen, radiation we did not understand. just because we didn't know what it was, they called it helium. it is an abundant gas. , on ouralloons birthdays. helium was discovered there --
in 1919, and observation of the eclipse by eddington provided the first proof of general relativity. that light bends. that first test of that pivotal theory. science is what it is all about here at nasa. iophysics -- also astrophysics. planetary sciences, and earth science. all of which will be involved in this important spectacle. eclipse will be really important for us because it will be providing unprecedented vantage points of nasa assets, in space, in the air, and on the ground.
please start the movie. have 11 all, we will spacecraft that are flying. two of them with our sister agency, noaa. spacecraft, a bunch of them, as shown here, are initially looking at the sun. the corona. that is the atmosphere of the sun. it is like a crown around the moon. these observations will look at all colors from x-ray to visible and beyond. one spacecraft at the moon that is looking at the moon and along the shadow at the year and looking at the unique vantage point and then of course, a whole series of spacecraft around the orbit of earth looking at radiation and the radiation back from earth.
a unique experiment of how solar radiation interacts with the earth's atmosphere. we are also making observations in air with aircraft. i do not want to forget the astronauts looking out the window and looking at the spectacle from up there. on the ground, that same kind of excitement liquor -- excitement will occur because we have astronomers and individuals looking at the eclipse and providing unique science that will come together and help us understand new things about the sun. new things about the earth and how they interact in this unique eclipse. this unique opportunity. i want to remind ourselves, it is not good for your eyes to look at the sun. when the sune sun is in the sky but also if three
quarters or half of the sun is covered. it is way too bright for your eyes. enjoy it but be safe. the only time it is safe to look at the sun is when it is entirely covered why the moon -- by the moon. to just tell you a story that moved me. there was a story that was made possible by an individual in the audience. map that is making the ofipse accessible to those our friends and colleagues who are visually impaired or blind. that thesees a map individuals can feel and get the geometry both of the shadow of thethe country, also
corona and the entire alignment of the sun and moon. i'm so excited, in this case, our individual, our friends that cannot see the light of the sun can be part of the enormous spectacle. they will feel it and they can touch it here. i want to turn it over to you. to tell us about noaa. you, i want to say that your comment about the emotion of an eclipse is dear to me. i saw my only one in 1979 as an undergrad student. that formulated in my mind that i wanted a career in science. something as simple as a total solar eclipse can inspire in students around the country. years heard, this is a 99 in the making.
across the entire u.s. from the west coast to the east coast. is very excited to help you experience that by providing views from our satellites as that is happening. there are does cofactors involved to whether you are a see it. are you in the band where it will be occurring? for the remainder of the united states will have a partial viewing. also if there is clear whether. .- weather and operates all of the nation's weather satellites, capable satellites, that allow us to view the eclipse from different perspectives. we will be doing that on august 21. this is a graphic that shows the satellites in orbit around the earth that they are in currently. we have two in particular.
discover satellite which is outside the earth and lunar orbits. it has a nasa camera and looks back at the earth. with that image we can capture images of the moon moving across the continent as the eclipse occurs. we also haven't humans on board that look at the sun and monitor the solar output -- we also have cameras that look at the sun and monitor the solar output and make us aware of what is coming at us from the solar environment. we will learn more about that. newest next generation go 16 satellite, you may have heard your meteorologist around the country raving of it. it has incredible capability. probably the most advanced instrument ever developed for monitoring the weather on the earth. it is currently in testing,
launched in november and is going through a series of tests. go into operation until next november but in the meantime we will use its capability to monitor the eclipse as it occurs. in developing the scanning strategy, we hope to have 32nd images of the lunar shadow on the earth as it moves across the earth. go 16 is also armed with a new instrument. a high-resolution camera that looks at the sun. this camera will be looking at the sun during the eclipse and we expect to see effects, the moon -- the camera looks at the sun constantly to monitor the sun's activities as we go. satellites,other including the polar satellites. as well as our partner satellites from europe.
because these are polar orbiting, they will be orbiting the earth and crossing over the united states during the eclipse experience. it will be fascinating and we can't wait to see the data. the most important thing, the next graphic please, is what will the weather be. the graphic was produced by national center for environmental information and it shows that as the eclipse moves from west to east there is increasing likelihood of cloudiness of where you will be able to view the eclipse. this is due to many factors. if you look at the western coast of oregon and the southeastern states, have a higher likelihood of cloudiness because of the humidity on average. this is from historical data -- this is not a forecast. it is the historical average. the percentage of cloud cover that you can expect based on
history on august 21 in the afternoon. there other factors that involve your ability to see the eclipse. geography. terrain -- mountains. fog and other events that could happen. this is late summer. it is late august in mid afternoon. a chance of showers and thunderstorms. as you look at the graphic, you see the eastern half of the united states is much darker. because of the presence overtime on that day of thunderstorms and showers in the afternoon. we certainly hope you have clear skies. we wanted you to be aware of what you could expect. if you are planning to travel and you want to know where to go. we are very excited about the eclipse. and about helping you get information you want. we have a series of websites we have put together that show noa a's data.
we hope you have clear skies and the weather is great and you have a great viewing of the eclipse. many of you will be traveling to try to find locations where you can best do the event. many of those will be in the national parks. i will handed over to brian. >> thank you. the eclipse is a significant event for the national park service. we hope many of you will come and enjoy it. it is a special day for everyone. haveple of experiences been shared -- this is your opportunity to create your experience related to the eclipse that you can hopefully share with your family and grandkids one day. where can you see it? in the national parks? it so happens that 20 of the national parks are exactly in the area of totality and nine of the national trails bisect the path as well. going from west to east, the first part that will experience
the beds andity is it will wrap up in fort sumter, south carolina. many parts will experiencing the eclipse -- will experience the eclipse at some level. check with them. what is happening in the national parks related to the eclipse? a lot of specific activities. we're trying to help people learn. with a lot of including nasa, harvard, the smithsonian, and the planetary society. the planetary society is helping us to host a special event at homestead national monument in nebraska. there is a three day festival around the eclipse.
next graphic, please. to plan your visit, make sure to plan ahead. make sure to plan to experience the eclipse in a national park like you would any other visit to the national park. visit the website. that is the best place to start. bring food, expect crowds, be patient. this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for everyone and we want you all to have an amazing experience while you are there. what can people take part in? next slide please. seer the eclipse, you can spectacular night skies. you can join others and be enjoying the behavior of animals and of deserving other phenomena. earlier, youned want to make sure you're doing this safely during the event and
when you get there. you will be traveling on roads and highways and to talk specifically about that is martin. >> thank you brian. not normallymay put heavenly bodies as the moon, thisun, with the -- why is highway commission person talking? [laughter] i want to make sure you get their say. to fully enjoy it. we want drivers and families to be prepared. to be safe while they are enjoying the event. states are going to be in the direct path of the total eclipse. across the country that is a lot of land to cover. peopleesents 200 million that are within one day drive of getting within the direct path. that is a lot of people with
potential to be out on the road. we want them to get out there and enjoy the experience but we need them to do it safely. there may be more people on the roads than is normal. there may be more pedestrians who are out looking to get good sites to view it. bicyclists who are enjoying the summertime weather. if we pull up the first graphic -- we show a map of the interstates that are in the path of the total eclipse. these are just interstates. the map is too small to be able to put on all the other highway routes and local county roads and city streets that are in the path as well. there is approximately 20 interstates that are in the direct path. those interstates serve 2 million drivers a day. that is a lot. that is just the interstates,
not the highways and city streets and the others. we don't know exactly how many might be out there driving around to get in good position for this. but we know that there will likely be several million. ,he good thing is, 14 states state departments of transportation are already planning. they are coordinating with local government, law enforcement, emergency responders. they are working to help make sure that the governments and roads are as prepared as possible. stephen hear from the national operation center of excellence. he will be here to help with questions you may have with preparedness and states. helpsnter of excellence provide us with best practices to make sure we are ready for things like this. the federal highway administration and encourages travelers and want them to be excited about this but be prepared.
it is not a time to just show up on the spur of the moment. drive for a few minutes with your head out the window looking up at the sky. not a time to pull over and beyond the side of the road. if we could pull up the next graphic. it is a webpage we put together that provides relevant information about the eclipse that gives you links to the 14 and the information they are providing and links to the excellence center and the nasa site. we try to make it as easy as possible to get good information. also it is not just the normal traveling public. trains, companies that move our goods and products, they already have to be very safety conscious. cars that dart in front of trucks, finding limited parking spaces for tractor-trailers, how they make sure they meet their hours of service. they need to be preparing as
well. favorite spots they may have for the secret to find parking space along the way, others may know about that as well. whether it is the public or truckers, plan ahead. one thing to think about is, this is occurring in august. vacation time. rush-hour traffic may be a little slower than normal because in these areas where there are places that have more people that are coming to enjoy also,-- august is construction season. helping to take care of roads. we need to do that while keeping live traffic going. are already preparing to have work sums not active during the eclipse to make it as safe as possible. you will still see traffic devices like barrels and message boards that help advise the public about what to expect for potential construction hazards. work zones are tough enough to
keep people and -- key people and keeping people aware of lanes that are closed, speed limit reduction, things that you see normally. we are to mitigate that is much as possible. if we pull up the last graphic -- what we need is to be alert and conscientious drivers. don't let the solar phenomenon eclipse good judgment. [laughter] there is a concern for distracted driving. the eclipse is certainly a wonderful thing. we want to be as safe as possible. if you get one message out of this, prepare in advance. we lose weight too many lives on the highways already and we want to make sure this runs perfectly and people enjoy this event. a few tips. you can get them on our website also. you heard me earlier, don't stop along the interstate.
don't drive with your head poking out of the window. don't just pull over. . you have pedestrians out there. be careful. if everyone is staring at the sky, who is looking out for each other? we are looking at a wonderful event that we need to take care of each other along the way. turn your headlights on. don't rely on automatic lights to come on. watch out for pedestrians. up,lly, as always, buckle put the cell phone in the glove box. you don't need to be talking on the phone. i've gone seven years without having a phone call while driving and the first two weeks were itchy but after that i have not listed at all. my advice, take that peace of mind that you want. take back full control of your mind and attention from distraction. make this a great event. beafe