he sky is a little brighter, but there are still two layers of clouds. At least we can see structure in the clouds, and we hear that there is some clearing behind the front that is now passing through. We have 2 1/2 hours to go.
Though we can’t see the eclipse visually if the sky is completely cloudy, we do have one meteorological experiment that will work anyway. We will be measuring the temperature falloff that results from the eclipse. Michael Thomas Roman, a grad student from Cornell, and Marcos Peñaloza, a professor from Universidad de los Andes in Mérida, Venezuela, are here with us, and Michael as brought some devices to follow the temperature. At last year’s eclipse, Joe Ciotti, a college student from Hawaii, measured the temperature just under the ground and at a few centimeters above the ground. The temperature in the part of the eclipse path in China where they were dropped by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit over what it would have declined to in the late afternoon for that eclipse, reaching a low point about 10 minutes after the end of totality (the expected thermal lag), and then rising again. Marcos and Michael spent a lot of time walking around a few days ago to find the right place for their sensors.