Plan your Eclipse Excursion
On April 8th, 2024, a total solar eclipse will pass over the continental USA! This is a rare occurrence and the chance of a lifetime to experience a humbling moment where the Moon passes perfectly in front of, and obscures, the photosphere of the Sun for a couple minutes during the day. For this writing assignment, you will be asked to explain a little bit about eclipses, and then develop your own plan to see this eclipse from within the path of totality.
Before you start writing, please review the following materials:
The course reading, lectures, and supplementary materials discussing total solar eclipses.
This is covered in Lecture 1D.
The website www.greatamericaneclipse.com
NASA’s eclipse website: eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov
After reviewing this material, please write a two page write-up* on total solar eclipses, with your specific plan to view the upcoming eclipse. The required format and topics are given below.
FORMAT [7 points]
Your write-up must have the following format to receive full points:
Name, class, date in the upper right corner
First line of the paper is the title of your write-up (in boldface)
Double space with 11 or 12 point font (any font is fine by me).
Margins at top/bottom, left/right of one inch or less.
At least two pages (and no more than two and half pages) of text.
Make sure that you give the references for your sources of information. In particular, any quotes that you use must include a reference.
All references included on a final page in an end-note format (similar to what you find in any Wikipedia article). So if you are getting information or a quote from some reference, insert a number into your write-up. An example is given below. Please be as specific as possible when you give a reference, so for example don’t just give me the website of the book, give me the website of the section.
Your essay must be written in paragraph form. That is, I am expecting two pages of text written like a normal essay. Do NOT address the topics in the list below like a set of short answer question.
Example of referencing:
“The Moon goes around the Earth approximately every 28 days . I looked up the path of totality for the eclipse  and decided I wanted to go to Texas for this event.”
BACKGROUND [6 points]
To get full credit, your write-up must address the following topics, preferably in the order listed. (Remember, although these points should be addressed in your essay, they should be written out in narrative in continuous paragraphs. This is not supposed to be the answer to ten short answer questions.I will ask you to rewrite the assignment if it is not )
Explain what causes a total solar eclipse.
Explain how often they occur and why it is very unlikely that you would experience a total solar eclipse where you live.
Describe the last total solar eclipse in the United States on Aug 21, 2017. What parts of the country were covered and what were people’s reactions?
PLANNING YOUR TRIP [7 points]
Give the date and describe the path of totality for the upcoming eclipse in the US.
Tell me what you expect you will be doing on April 8, 2024. Where will you be living? What will you be doing for your job?
Assuming you can get a few days of vacation, explain where you will go to view the eclipse and why you chose that location.
Discuss whether you will have back-up plans in case of bad weather.
Explain what you will do for lodging: camping, staying with friends, hotel, etc.
Mention if you will bring any specialized equipment to observe the eclipse
If you miss this total solar eclipse, give the date and location for the next total solar eclipse in the United States.
Source for lecture 1D: 4.5-4.7