What effect will the solar eclipse have on animals? NASA needs your help to find out

In other anecdotes, watchers have told of birds that stop singing, crickets that stop chirping, or bees that return to their hives, reduce their foraging, or die due to complete darkness. She stops her flight during this time. But there are also studies that deny that some of these behaviors are or could be caused by eclipses.

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

“Great North American Eclipse”

NASA has created the Eclipse Soundscapes citizen science project 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 colleagues. At that time, the Boston Natural History Society invited citizens, park rangers, and naturalists to report on the movements of birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and fish during the summer eclipse of 1932. He collected about 500 reports. In their final report they noted that some animals displayed nocturnal behavior such as returning to their nests and hives or making calls at night.

The current NASA study will combine observations made during the annular solar eclipse of October 14, 2023, and the total solar eclipse of April 8. The latter will appear first in Mexico in Mazatlán, then in Nazas, Torreón, Monclova and Piedras Negras. These areas will be located directly in the shadow of the eclipse and hence, their residents will experience the total eclipse. Nearby areas will experience it as a partial eclipse with less darkness. It will then enter the United States through Texas, passing through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Finally, it will travel across Canada from southern Ontario and pass through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. Astronomical projections point to the Mexican port of Mazatlan as the best place to see the 2024 event, which will experience totality around 11:07 a.m. local time.

A sparrow experiencing a partial solar eclipse in Jij Country, Hebei province, China, on June 21, 2020.Future Publishing/Getty Images

How you can help

In the United States, 30 million people live in the area where the eclipse will be considered total. If you combine the Mexican and Canadian publics, the potential for gathering experience is enormous. NASA wants to take advantage of this.

The project foresees several levels of volunteerism: trainees, observers, data collectors, data analysts and facilitators.

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