‘Look up,’ eclipse April 8

By David Fleet
Brandon Twp. — Mid-afternoon on April 8, the temperature will drop; birds will return to their nests and bees will seek their hives.
“The crickets will also sound thinking it’s nighttime, the eclipse will trigger the cycles in animals to get into a routine at sundown,” said Dr. Dustin Scriven, a 2011 Brandon High School graduate who earned a Bachelor of Science in astrophysics from Michigan State University and recently a doctorate degree in physics at Texas A & M.
Dr. Scriven, along with millions of people will witness a solar eclipse will cross North America. The eclipse will pass over parts of Mexico, the central and eastern United States, and southeastern Canada. The path of totality in Michigan will be limited to parts of Erie and Bedford townships (including Luna Pier) in southeastern Monroe County, Mich. will experience totality between 3:12 and 3:13 p.m. EDT, according to the National Weather Service. Most of Southeast Michigan will experience a partial eclipse
“Take the day off work and get out there and be part of the universe,” said Scriven, who now serves as a research associate at MSU at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. His current research is focused on experimental measurements of the structure of atomic nuclei. “It’s a celestial event that we all have no control over whatsoever, all you do is sit, watch and enjoy.”
Scriven said the 2024 eclipse will be somewhat different from others in that it’s an annular solar eclipse, meaning when the moon passes directly between the earth and sun, but does not completely cover the sun’s disk. Rather, it covers the majority of the sun, leaving an outer edge visible producing a bright ring or “annulus” around the darkened moon.
“The moon is going to be a fraction farther away,” he said. “It’s quite spectacular I am told.”
To look at the sun while the eclipse is ongoing solar glasses are needed, said Scriven. “Eye protection is mandatory, you’ll damage your eyes. Forget about looking through a camera or telescope, you’ll burn your eyes.”
For years Dr. Scriven has been a local astronomer and ventured out at night to remote locations to study the heavens utilizing a variety of telescopes along with precision photography equipment.
“The eclipse will get people outside and maybe learn something about our world,” he said. “You’ll also see Venus and Jupiter along with 12P/Pons-Brooks, when the eclipse is ongoing. An eclipse is something millions of people can experience together. This is the last solar eclipse for many years, it’s very unique.”

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