Solar Eclipse Expedition II Press Release
8-04-1999

 Palm Beach Community College, founded in 1933, is Florida's first public community college. Currently, over 50,000 students attend Palm Beach Community College. The Central Campus (the largest of the four campuses) is located on 114 acres in Lake Worth, Florida. It offers a broad scope of programs and services including: Associate in Art Degrees, Associate in Science Degrees, and certificate programs.

Palm Beach Community College offers many extracurricular opportunities for its students. One popular and innovative club at P.B.C.C. is the Physics and Astronomy Club (P.A.C.). During the past few years, the Physics Department and P.A.C. have offered many cutting edge opportunities for its members. Most recently, the PAC has involved students in opportunities to view two solar eclipses. Last year students traveled to Curaçao to observe an eclipse and capture images to be used for scientific observation (Solar Eclipse Expedition 1). This August students will be traveling to Balatonfüred, Hungary to observe and study the last solar eclipse of the millennium (Solar Eclipse Expedition 2).

Using telescopes and C.C.D. cameras, students will record images of the solar disk and the full extent of the solar corona. This data will be combined with observations from other institutions, and used by solar physicists monitoring the sun. In addition, the group will upload live images to their website, www.profjohn.com, so the event may be viewed worldwide. Immediately following the event, the group will upload an A.V.I. file so that the eclipse may be viewed in full motion. Finally, as the C.C.D. images are processed they too will be available at the site.

The team is scheduled to depart on Saturday, August 7, 1999 from Miami International Airport and returns Saturday, August 14, 1999. Each student selected for the expedition has agreed to share his or her experience with the Palm Beach County School District in the form of workshops and presentations. This outreach will focus on the opportunities available to students in undergraduate science education.

Astronomic, photographic, and computer equipment for the SEE1 was purchased through a variety of sources including a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Jon M. Saken and a faculty endowment awarded to John W. Berryman, the two principal investigators of the endeavor. In addition, the PBCC Inter-Club Council has funded the majority of travel expense for the expedition and a generous donation from McGraw-Hill/WCB assisted the group in vital computing equipment.

Palm Beach Community College
Physics and Astronomy: Eclipse '99
4200 Congress Avenue
Lake Worth, Florida 33461
561.357.1379