While millions of Americans would be experiencing their first total solar eclipse on August 21, an astrophysicist would be seeing it for the 27th time. Donald Liebenberg is a professor in the physics and astronomy department at Clemson University’s College of Science. As per abc2news, Liebenberg on witnessing a total solar eclipse said,”The beauty is spectacular and it’s awe-inspiring.” The journey started in 1954 in Mellen, Wisconsin.
Since then the astrophysicist has travelled the globe visiting the most remote places like Pukapuka, a coral atoll in the Pacific Ocean, to take in that small window of opportunity to study the sun’s outer atmosphere. As per the report, Liebenberg explained,”I was trying to answer — or still am — the question of what is the energy mechanism that heats this corona to a million degrees? Thermo dynamically, that’s not possible. Heat flows from the interior of the sun at a high temperature out to the surface of the sun to 5,500 degrees. But it’s more than 100 times that temperature in the solar corona and how does that happen?”
Liebenberg’s quest for that answer inadvertently made him a record holder: He has spent over two and half hours in totality. Liebenberg said,”The blue light against a very dark background, a marvelous sight.” He added,”The analysis allowed us to find several regions in the corona where this five-minute periodicity did show up. And that was very rewarding because I think it was the first time people had seen the appearance of these waves in the corona.”
Millions of people are planning to be the part of the history but some are having a hard time finding the proper equipment to protect their eyes from the ultraviolet and infrared rays.