Citizen CATE 2024



On eclipse day, Citizen CATE will deploy 35 teams of community participants with telescopes, cameras, mounts, all that you need to observe the eclipse, all the way from Texas to Maine so that we can make observations of the eclipse, of totality, in polarized visible light and get about an hour-long movie of totality.

When you look at a total solar eclipse, you look at that bright corona. You’re not actually seeing light that’s coming from the corona itself. You’re looking at light that came from the surface of the Sun that went out and then it bounced around and moved through the corona to our eyes.

When we’re looking with our cameras in CATE 2024, what we’re looking at is exactly how that light was bouncing around in the corona before it came to us and the way that it was doing that tells us about what’s happening in the corona.

There are a lot of scientific experiments that have questions so big that you can’t do it just with scientists. You need to engage a huge team of people. And the best way to that is to engage with the public.

For CATE 2024, we need to have 35 teams of people all along the eclipse path. We just can’t do that with professionals. We need to engage with community participants. That’s the only way we can get the breadth of data that we need for this experiment.

Anybody can join CATE 2024. People without a scientific background. People who have never used a telescope. In fact, those are exactly the kinds of people we want on the team because we want to train the next generation of scientists. We want to instill that love of science in people that may otherwise not have an experience like this.