UTC professors shed light on what to expect for the August solar - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UTC professors shed light on what to expect for the August solar eclipse

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

With the upcoming total solar eclipse, Channel 3 spoke with a few professors from the University of Tennessee here in Chattanooga. They were able to shed some light on the darkness that will happen on August 21st.

"Around 1:30 in the afternoon, weather allowing, the sky will become dark because people will see the sun being blocked out by the moon," says Dr. Bob Marlowe, Professor of Physics at UTC.

Channel 3 asked what people can expect during totality.

Marlowe says, "They will feel the air temperature drop 10-15 degrees, they will see stars come out, they will see what are called ripple shadows run along the ground."

The ripple that takes place is the result of diffraction. Marlowe explains when you have any type of light that is brushed by a sharp object, in this case the moon, it results in an optical effect of dark and light ripples that will appear to be moving on the ground.

If you're planing on staying in Chattanooga and wanting to head to the Jones Observatory, they'll be closed. Jack Pitkin, the Director of the Jones Observatory tells Channel 3 it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to see, "I think I owe it to myself, my wife, and the people owe it to themselves to go a few miles north-we're talking Athens, Sweetwater, Spring City."

READ MORE | What the Tech? Smartphones & the solar eclipse

Chattanooga is just on the edge of 100% totality. When asked what the difference will be from Athens to Chattanooga, Pitkin says he does not know if there will be much of a difference, but one thing is for certain – no matter if you're in the path of total or partial, proper eye wear is a must from 1pm-4pm.

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