Home Tech How Will the Solar Eclipse Affect Animals? NASA Needs Your Help to Find Out

How Will the Solar Eclipse Affect Animals? NASA Needs Your Help to Find Out

0 comment
Image may contain animal Beak Bird Sparrow Nature Night Outdoor Finch Astronomy and Moon

In other anecdotes, onlookers have reported birds that stop singing, crickets that stop whistling, or bees that return to their hive, forage less or interrupt their flight during total darkness. But there are also studies that deny that some of these behaviors occur or can be attributed to the solar eclipse.

Therefore, NASA scientists plan not only to systematize observations, but also to document what people hear and see in the moon’s shadow.

“The Great North American Solar Eclipse”

NASA created the citizen science project Eclipse Soundscapes to collect the experiences of volunteers. It was inspired by a study conducted nearly 100 years ago by William M. Wheeler and a team of collaborators. At the time, the Boston Natural History Society invited citizens, park rangers, and naturalists to report on the activities of birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and fish during the summer eclipse of 1932. They collected nearly 500 reports. In their final report, they note that some animals exhibited nocturnal behavior, such as returning to their nests and beehives or making nocturnal sounds.

The current NASA study will add observations made during the October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse and the April 8 total solar eclipse. The latter will first be visible in Mexico in Mazatlan, then in Nazas, Torreon, Monclova and Piedras Negras. These places will be located directly in the umbra of the eclipse and therefore their inhabitants will experience them as total. In nearby areas it will be experienced as a partial solar eclipse, with less darkness. It will then enter the United States through Texas, via Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Finally, the journey will travel from southern Ontario through Canada and continue via Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. Astronomical estimates indicate that the Mexican port of Mazatlan will be the best place to observe the 2024 event, which will experience its totality around 11:07 a.m. local time.

A sparrow experiences a partial solar eclipse in Jize Country, Hebei Province, China, June 21, 2020.Future Publishing/Getty Images

How you can help

In the United States, 30 million people live in the area where the total solar eclipse will be experienced. When you add in the Mexican and Canadian audiences, the potential for collecting experiences is enormous. That’s what NASA wants to take advantage of.

The project provides different levels of volunteering: learner, observer, data collector, data analyst and facilitator.

You may also like