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Thanks to MSU, You Can Watch The Great American Eclipse Online

Angela Des Jardins
Angela Des Jardins, photo by Kelly Gorham

This Monday, we’ll get to experience the Great American Eclipse. Parts of the nation will come to a standstill for about an hour and a half (or at least for the roughly 2-minute window many places will be able to view a total eclipse). Thanks to MSU undergraduates, you will also be able to view it live online, hopefully without crashing NASA’s website.

Hotels, motels, and campgrounds in 12 states (but the eclipse can really be viewed from 14 states, technically) are going to be filling up this weekend for people to be in place for the “Great American Eclipse.” But if for some reason you are not able to be in the path of eclipse totality, Angela Des Jardins, director of MSU’s Montana Space Grant Consortium, has your back. She helped organize the Eclipse Ballooning Project, where more than 50 ballooning teams across the country will launch high-altitude balloons to capture live video of the eclipse.

NASA is expecting between 100 million and 500 million website hits during eclipse totality, and thanks to a company called “Stream,” they have created software and hardware to handle the live streaming and the volume of web traffic.

Unfortunately, most of Montana won’t be in totality (read the controversy here), so if you are going to try to view it with the naked eye, you will need Eclipse Glasses to protect your eyes. However, there is just a small piece of the Montana border that will get about 45 seconds of totality, if you can get there.

MSU’s team will launch their balloon from the Rexburg, Idaho airport, where they will have a great view and good internet connection. And if you miss the live-stream video, everything will be recorded so you can watch it later.

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