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Scientists watch eclipse at PARI

Scientists and amateur astronomers gathered at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in Rosman to not only witness one of nature's most beautiful spectacles, but to also collect valuable data on this celestial phenomenon. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Monday's total solar eclipse will be the most studied in history. Scientists hoped to gather valuable data, and one of the best places for that was in Western North Carolina.

Scientists and amateur astronomers gathered at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in Rosman to not only witness one of nature's most beautiful spectacles, but to also collect valuable data on this celestial phenomenon.

This was the first time a total solar eclipse passed directly over an array of radio telescopes, and scientists were not about to miss the opportunity.

"I study the charged particles in space environment, and that also affects communications, so there are experiments going on to see how that will change with the eclipse, as well,"Dr. Liz MacDonald, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

MacDonald is also leading a push for citizen scientists to take part in NASA's research by sending pictures and weather data to them for use in their research.

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