Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Michael Pierce


The Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse Experiment deployed 68 volunteer-operated telescope and camera systems across the United States to collect continuous data of the August 2017 solar eclipse. For any one location the eclipse lasted 2.5 minutes, but in total the nationwide CATE network collected data on the full 93 minutes of eclipse across America. The wealth of data collected contains more than 110,000 calibration and eclipse images and takes up 1.5 terabytes of memory. To become scientifically applicable, all these images needed to be corrected for systematic errors caused by the equipment and for human error. The images then required additional processing to enhance their data and scientific usefulness. Due to the scale of the dataset this entire procedure needed to be automated to produce a 93 minute, fully processed, solar eclipse movie. This paper will describe in detail the processing techniques employed, their automation, and the initial results of the Citizen CATE Experiment.