When the Moon dims the Sun for a few minutes next week, scientists will get a rare view of our star. Studying an eclipse seems almost quaint — we have telescopes that continuously observe the Sun and NASA is sending a probe to it next year. What further knowledge can we gain?
We asked four researchers what we still don't know about the Sun and what might be learned from next week's solar eclipse:
- James Klimchuk, astrophysicist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Why is the solar corona so hot?
- Madhulika Guhathakurta, astrophysicist, NASA Ames Research Center: The Sun reveals our connection to the cosmos.
- Douglas Drob and Joseph Huba, physicists, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory: The eclipse can tell us a lot about Earth's atmosphere.
- Amir Caspi, astrophysicist, Southwest Research Institute: Chasing the eclipse with airborne telescopes.