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Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart
Mini Article – Volume 24, Issue 6

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Total Eclipse Promises a Solar Spectacle

By Kristyn Webb

This coming week a few lucky parts of North America are preparing for the total solar eclipse that will create a path of totality cutting through Mexico, Ohio, New York, and many spots in between!

This rare occurrence draws enthusiasts and scientists alike, offering a captivating display of the dynamics of our solar system. Central to the phenomenon is the precise alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth in syzygy—a configuration where the moon perfectly obscures the sun, casting its shadow onto our planet. This alignment sets the stage for a mesmerizing display of light and shadow, as the moon’s shadow, or umbra, sweeps across the Earth’s surface, creating a momentary darkness during totality.

The last total solar eclipse in 2017 that crossed most of North America occurred when the sun’s activity was at a minimum and there were relatively few sunspots. This created a glimpse of a very structured corona due to the strength of the sun’s magnetic field creating neat magnetic poles at the top and bottom of the star.

This year’s eclipse occurs during a much more active period of solar activity. In theory, this should provide a more dramatic view of larger outflows and prominences.

Here on Earth, we will get unique experiences of  360-degree sunsetsshadow snakestemperature fluctuations, and animals behaving oddly. A number of scientific discoveries have occurred during past total solar eclipses, like the discovery of the element helium in 1868. We are excited to see what new discoveries are waiting in the shadows this time!

​​​​​Kristyn Webb is the Group Leader of Fishman Stewart’s Copyright Practice Group, and holds a Master’s Degree in Copyright Law from King’s College London.


Published April 5, 2024

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