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What scientists are watching for during the eclipse

The May 20, 2012, solar eclipse is visible from Elida, New Mexico.
The May 20, 2012, solar eclipse is visible from Elida, New Mexico.
Courtesy of Fred Espenak

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As everyone watches the eclipse today, we spoke to two scientists about what they're excited for during the celestial event. 

Collin O'Mara Green is one of the on site astronomers at Griffith Observatory during the eclipse. 

“The biggest question I’ve gotten so far is why is this special, and what is this all about? And really, it is special in one way in that the entire United States has a chance to see at least a partial eclipse… but I like to think it is special because we’re having a chance to really understand our place in the solar system… It gives us a better chance of where we are in this crazy universe of ours.”

We also spoke with Bruce Betts, director of science and technology at the Planetary Society.

"These are the kind of moments [that get people interested in science] and there’s the ones that we create, like spacecrafts and rockets, and then there are the ones that nature provides, and this could really start the engineers and scientists of the future if kids get excited about this - which, they will."

To listen to the full segment, click the blue play button above.