Google is celebrating the first eclipse to cross the continental U.S. in 99 years with a new Google Doodle, a crowd-sourced photo project, and with NASA posting scientific facts about eclipses directly on the search results pages. For those who haven’t yet visited Google’s site this morning, the Doodle itself lightheartedly features two alien lifeforms in spaceships bouncing the moon back and forth across the sun while in orbit above the Earth. It was designed by Doodle artist Gerben Steenks, after Steenks first went through a series of other options ranging from “anthropomorphic cameras” to owls, according to Google. The new Doodle marks the latest in a long string of Google Doodles that celebrate the world’s people, places, and events.
Clicking the Doodle will, of course, perform a search for the topic but will also provide you with a series of animated, card-style pages explaining how eclipses work, all of which feature Doodle’s main protagonists. For example, one card explains that there are two different kinds of eclipse and outlines what is entailed in each of those. Going beyond the inclusion of a Doodle, Google has also partnered up for an imaging project called Eclipse Megamovie 2017. The project will be collecting photos from across the eclipse’s path of totality, which is the 70-mile wide path where the sun will be completely obscured by the moon, and using these to create movies. The images featured in the clip will be taken by volunteer photographers along that path and users can sign up to take part in the project via its dedicated page which you can access by following the source link below. Once completed, there will likely be several versions of the “Megamovie” since the page also hints that the “first version” should be available during the “afternoon” of August 21. Eclipse Megamovie 2017 is a collaborative effort between Google, Berkley University, and several other scientific organizations.
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NASA will also be sharing eclipse-related updates and science information before, during, and after the eclipse which will be accessible by searching for the event. Beyond that, the U.S. space organization will also be live-streaming the eclipse for those who don’t have access to eclipse glasses or a pinhole projector to watch the once-in-a-lifetime event.