The Total Solar Eclipse, scheduled to occur on 21 August, is making headlines. Dubbed the Great American Eclipse, the astronomical event appears to have provoked much excitement and curiosity among the public. Nasa recently hosted a Reddit AMA to answer some of the internet's questions about the event.
Six of Nasa scientists answered questions. Although there were numerous scientifically insightful and relevant queries, there were also quite a few peculiar ones.
IBTimes UK has compiled a list of few of the most bizarre questions that Nasa scientists answered during the AMA session.
1) Will my go blind? Or freak out?
One Eclipse enthusiast was really concerned about how the eclipse may affect her horses. "Dumb question....do animals suffer eye damage during a total eclipse? Do they even care to look into the sky? The reason I ask is because I have a couple horses that live outside 24/7 and I don't want to be slapped with a major vet bill on the 22<sup>nd," the Redditor wrote.
NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office chief Bill Cooke said that he'd once experienced a solar eclipse in a pasture filled with horses. "They could not figure out what was going on and ran around the pasture aimlessly, but they did not suffer any injuries, so I think you're safe from any eclipse-related vet charges!" Cooke said.
2) Will I be missing much if I don't travel to watch the eclipse?
One Reddit user said that he/she was not looking forward to a trip to Oregon just to view the totality. However Nasa scientist Noah Petro attempted to convince the user. "You'd be missing out on a really awesome experience! Solar eclipses are rare enough that you really shouldn't pass up the chance to see it, if you can! The next total eclipse in the US will be 2024, but it won't be in Oregon," Petro said.
3) Will the eclipse affect plants?
"Do eclipses like these effect the plant life in any way? Is their any measured response from plants during such events?" one Redditor asked. Oddly enough, the question is not as weird as one might think. According to Nasa's solar scientist Mitzi Adams, plants will be affected by the eclipse. "Yes - plants that will either open or close at night will be affected! But it won't damage or harm any plants - they will just react as if it's twilight!" Adams wrote.
The eclipse promises to be a historic event. To know more about how to safely watch and photograph it, click here.