1. Astronomical Inst., Slovak Academy of Sciences, 2. CIRES, U. Colorado, 3. Williams College
We discuss the evolution of the solar corona as seen at eclipses through the solar-activity cycle. In particular, we discuss the variations of the overall shape of the corona through the relative proportions of coronal streamers at equatorial and other latitudes vs. polar plumes. We analyze the two coronal mass ejections that we observed from Gabon at the 2013 total solar eclipse and how they apparently arose from polar crown filaments, one at each pole. We describe the change in the Ludendorff flattening index from solar maximum in one hemisphere as of the 2013 eclipse through the 2015 totality's corona we observed from Svalbard and, with diminishing sunspot and other magnetic activity in each hemisphere, through the 2016 corona we observed from Ternate, Indonesia.
We discuss our observational plans for the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse from our main site in Salem, Oregon, and subsidiary sites in Madras, OR; Carbondale, IL; and elsewhere, our main site chosen largely by its favorable rating in cloudiness statistics. We discuss the overlapping role of simultaneous spacecraft observations, including those expected not only from NASA's SDO, ESA's SWAP on PROBA2, and NRL/NASA/ESA's LASCO on SOHO but also from the new SUVI (Solar Ultraviolet Imager) aboard NOAA's GOES-R line of satellites, the first of which, GOES-16, launched on November 19, 2016.
Our research on the 2013 and 2015 total solar eclipses was supported by grants from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society (NG-CRE). Our research on the 2017 total solar eclipse is supported by both NG-CRE and the Solar Terrestrial Program of the Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation.