Effects of the Solar Eclipse: Shadow Bands

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- A noticeable effect of the solar eclipse remains a mystery to scientists.

In the moments preceding and following totality, bands of shadow flicker across whatever the sun’s rays touch.

According to NASA, “Shadow bands are thin wavy lines of alternating light and dark that can be seen moving and undulating in parallel on plain-colored surfaces immediately before and after a total solar eclipse.”

NASA also says that there is not yet enough data to know the origins of the shadow bands, but it is believed that the effect is similar to the reasons why stars twinkle.

You can view shadow bands yourself on August 21st, the day of the solar eclipse, and take your own measurements and observations of the curious occurrence—all you need is a solid colored surface, like a large piece of white poster board,  and you can see them yourself!

If you take a video, be sure to start the video before the waves begin so you have a frame of reference and can see what the waves look like as opposed to the natural shadows that happen every day.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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