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UNB gets ready for the 2024 total solar eclipse

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Mar 25, 2024

Category: Press Releases

Total solar eclipse

On April 8, New Brunswick will be one of the best locations in the world to view the total solar eclipse and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) has been actively preparing to make the most of this historical event.

GNSS Receivers in High Schools

The UNB Physics Department’s Atmospheric and Space Physics group is installing ten Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers in high schools across the province. These receivers, which support navigation technologies such as GPS devices and cellphones, also play a crucial role in UNB’s exploration of ionosphere through projects like CubeSat VIOLET.

During the eclipse, the receivers will monitor the ionosphere, allowing for the detection of various physical phenomena triggered by the sudden reduction in solar radiation. These phenomena include atmospheric cooling, plasma depletions, ionospheric waves and potential modifications to the atmosphere in the southern hemisphere.

William Brydone Jack Observatory

In the first half of April, the Harriet Irving Library on the Fredericton campus will host an exhibit of the William Brydone Jack Observatory.

The exhibit will include astronomical instruments from the observatory, including a quadrant and sextant, mini transit telescope, a collection of glass slides hand-painted by William Brydone Jack, bifilar eyepiece, solar apparatus and more.

The William Brydone Jack Observatory, established as a national historic site of Canada in in 1954, was the first astronomical observatory in the country.

Alum launch weather balloon

Retired medical physicist and astronomy enthusiast, David Hunter, and students will be launching a high-altitude balloon equipped with a solar telescope to capture live images of the total solar eclipse in Florenceville-Bristol.

The initiative has engaged both UNB engineering students and alumni. For final-year undergraduate engineering students, the balloon served as a project for their capstone design course.

Watch the eclipse with us!

UNB will be livestreaming the solar eclipse, which will happen at roughly 3:30 p.m. on April 8, via the UNB Facebook account. For students on campus that day, UNB has secured eclipse glasses, so they can safely view this once in a lifetime event.

Media contact: Kathleen McLaughlin, Media Relations Strategist at talktous@unb.ca.