Google, along with the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, will be making a "megamovie" using images of the 2017 total solar eclipse on Monday (21 August). The images will also be used to study finer details of the sun's outer atmosphere.
Images will be crowdsourced – with over 1,300 people as part of the project – said Calvin Johnson, program manager for Google's Making and Science Lab team, in an interview with BBC. Photographs taken will then be stitched into what Google is calling the Eclipse Megamovie through a machine learning algorithm.
Participants of this project are reportedly spread out throughout the "path of totality" stretching across the US mainland and are mostly made up of amateur photographers and astronomy buffs.
They will be taking pictures with high resolution cameras and telephoto lenses, according to the report.
The crowdsourced project, which is likely to result in stunning imagery of the rare celestial event, also has a scientific aspect to it.
Using the photographs, Johnson said that it will be possible to look at the "outermost atmosphere of the sun".
"During an eclipse, it lines up perfectly to block the bright disc of the sun while letting you see the sort of fainter, sort of wispy area all around the sun," Johnson said in the interview.
"Studies like this provide the opportunities to get a longer look at that band of the sun's atmosphere," he added.
Apart from the original 1,300 participants in the project, Johnson also added that members of the public will be able to upload their own pictures of this eclipse to their website to add to the data set that they are collecting.
For smartphone users, there is an app called Eclipse Megamovie Mobile that can do this for them and is available in Android and Apple app stores.
Google has reportedly developed a machine learning algorithm that will stitch together the photographs using GPS data and timestamps that each individual photograph comes with.
By doing this, Google will be able to create what is likely to be a stunning video, and will also get an opportunity to improve their algorithm.
The movie is expected to go live a few hours after the eclipse ends on Monday (21 August).
Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory has reportedly planned this exercise since 2011. "The huge advantage of the archive will be in its high degree of oversampling," said UC Berkeley professors Alexei V. Filippenko and Hugh Hudson to Co.Design.
"From a good single site, such as Salem, Oregon, we might have 10 asynchronous samples from a hundred cameras with 10 megapixels each, thus providing some three terabytes of data. We would thus like to think that nothing the corona does (and it varies ceaselessly!) can escape scrutiny from such a fine-toothed comb," they explained.
While the movie's images will come from the 1,300 participants, the ones uploaded by app users and other citizen contributors will go directly to an open source database that will be made available later this year from Google, according to Co.Design.