Annular Eclipse against black sky and clouds

Annual Eclipse This Saturday! Are You Ready?

A solar spectacle will cross the sky this weekend when an annular eclipse known as the “ring of fire” appears across the western hemisphere.

Known as the “ring of fire” thanks to shape of circular light created by the partial eclipse, the event is expected to occur this Saturday, Oct. 14, and travel from the coast of Oregon to the Texas Gulf Coast, according to NASA.

The distinct annular eclipse is different from a total eclipse, the next of which is expected to occur in April, and will be the last opportunity for people in the states to catch a glimpse of a ring of fire for a number of years.

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Author Credit: Mary Walrath-Holdridge | USA TODAY

Image Credit: Shuji Kajiyama, AP

Alan Rowland (left) will study different polymers with varying nitrogen content to try to understand how significant a role nitrogen plays in how lithium-sulfur batteries work. He is shown with Nawraj Sapkota (middle) and Ramakrishna Podila, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

South Carolina Space Grant Consortium Awards Clemson Graduate Student Fellowship for Battery Research

NASA is on the quest for a better battery — one that is lighter, longer lasting and able to survive the extreme temperatures found in space — and a Clemson graduate student’s research could help lay the groundwork.

Alan Rowland, a graduate student in the Clemson University Department of Physics and Astronomy, has received a prestigious NASA SC Space Grant fellowship to explore the role nitrogen plays in sulfurized polymer-based lithium-sulfur batteries.

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Author & Image Credit: Clemson University College of Science

Natalie Fout, a Secondary Math Education Major at Glenville State University

West Virginia Space Grant Consortium Awards Glenville State University Student Eclipse Ballooning Internship

Natalie Fout, a Secondary Math Education Major at Glenville State University, has successfully completed a transformative internship with the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium (WVSGC) during the summer of 2023. Her role as Outreach Coordinator and Launch Director for the West Virginia Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project (WVNEBP) marked a significant contribution to this NASA-funded initiative, bringing together 70 atmospheric science and engineering teams from across the nation.

The WVNEBP, a part of the WVSGC, is gearing up to participate in the ‘paths of ecliptic totality’ during the upcoming annular and total eclipses on October 14th, 2023, and April 8th, 2024. This pioneering project involves launching high-altitude balloons into the stratosphere to collect invaluable atmospheric data and livestream breathtaking video footage.

Read the full article on the West Virginia Daily News website here.

Image Credit: WV Daily News

Author Credit: WV Daily News

Image Description: Collage of photos of college students. Top left is woman in purple sweater holding pen, looking at laptop. Bottom left is man on laptop surrounded by open books and notebooks. Bottom right is man with glasses and red shirt smiling with open book, sitting in library. Top right is two students looking at a desktop computer screen, while one points to the screen.⁠

Mississippi Space Grant Awards ’23 – ’24 Graduate Fellowships

Four University of Southern Mississippi (USM) graduate students in its College of Arts and Sciences have been awarded the prestigious NASA-Mississippi Space Grant Consortium’s (MSSGC) Graduate Research Fellowship for the current academic year (2023-24).

The MSSGC is a statewide non-profit entity consisting of institutions of higher learning, which includes USM, coordinated and supported by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Its mission is to enhance and support aerospace science and technology efforts and activities in Mississippi, as well as promote a strong science, mathematics, and technology base at precollege, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the region’s educational institutions.

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Author Credit: Ivonne Kawas

Abigail Urbina ’24 M.S., Anais Gardere ’24 M.S., Dr. Anna Kloc, Sagar Bhatta ’23 M.S., Aravinda Pentela ’24 M.S.

Connecticut Space Grant Supports Innovative Grant-Supported Research

Nearly a dozen Chargers have received grants or scholarships from the NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium that will support their cutting-edge research, create important educational opportunities, and, possibly, lead to exciting scientific discoveries.

For Katie Durkee ’24 M.S., the opportunities she’s had to conduct research have enabled her to pursue her interests and discover new passions. A strong believer in the ability of research to help yield new discoveries, she hopes her own work can play an important role in furthering knowledge and innovation on Earth – and beyond.

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Author Credit: Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

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Grad cap on sits on top of $100 dollar bills, with green chalboard in background with equations written on the board

Pennsylvania Space Grant Selects 2023 Scholars and Fellows

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Fourteen graduate students from Penn State have been awarded research fellowships and nine undergraduate students from around the commonwealth have been awarded scholarships from the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (PSGC).

For 35 years, the Pennsylvania Space Grant College and Fellowship Program has been working to expand opportunities in Pennsylvania for citizens to learn about and participate in NASA programs by supporting STEM education, training, research, and public understanding while promoting multi-faceted diversity among project participants. The program is one of 52 NASA Space Grant programs across the country that are part of the NASA-run initiative to support educational initiatives in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Each year PSGC receives funds from the national NASA Space Grant Project to develop and implement student fellowships and scholarships programs. Through this funding PSGC administers the Graduate Fellowship Program and Undergraduate Scholarship Program.

Read the full article on the Penn State website.

Author Credit: Patricia Craig


Constance Meadors Professional Headshot

Arkansas Space Grant Consortium Names New Associate Director, Dr. Constance Meadors

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock welcomes Dr. Constance Meadors as the first associate director of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and NASA Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

In her new role, Meadors is responsible for overseeing the planning of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium partnering with numerous state agencies and programs during the 2024 Solar Eclipse that will put most of central Arkansas in the path of totality. Additionally, she will organize the Outreach Program, work with NASA to align ASGC and NASA EPSCoR programs, and will serve as the liaison to NASA.

“It is an honor to return to the place where my NASA experience and rocket science research started,” Meadors stated. “In my new position as associate director, I plan to utilize my experience and passion to capitalize on the state’s homegrown talent and aerospace industry to move the entire state into the new space economy.”


Read the full article on the UA Little Rock website.


Image Credit: UA Little Rock

Author Credit: Angelita Faller


UMass Amherst mechanical engineering major Brendan Scott smiling in front of striped background

Massachusetts Student Receives NASA Space Grant Award


Fellowship funds research conducted under College of Engineering’s Yanfei Xu

University of Massachusetts Amherst mechanical engineering major Brendan Scott has received a NASA undergraduate fellowship to study how insulative polymers could be turned into high thermal conductivity polymers. These polymers are desirable for a wide variety of applications ranging from space exploration to electronics that need to dissipate heat quickly and efficiently.

Such high-performance technology doesn’t exist yet in a large-scale way, but Scott is excited about the possible application of this work both among the stars as well as back here on Earth. “These designs would impact everything from heat sinks in small electronics to wirings, coatings, motors and more on space missions, having a huge impact across all disciplines of engineering.”

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Image & Author Credit: Julia Westbrook

6 adults smiling, 2 shaking hands

Michigan Space Grant Adds New Affiliate!


After presenting to the board, CMU was unanimously approved to join the consortium participating in NASA projects.


Central Michigan University was approved to join the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC). The MSGC’s mission is to “create, develop, and promote programs that reflect NASA’s strategic interests and support cooperation between academia, industry, state, and local government in science and technology in Michigan.”

With the University of Michigan as the lead, a consortium of 12 Michigan universities participates in NASA’s projects and offers a variety of funding opportunities to support student and faculty lead research projects, as well as fellowships, internships, and educational programs. Additionally, a conference is held each year to showcase the outcomes of the new research developed through the consortium’s funding.

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Author Credit: Hadlee Rinn

Image Credit: Stock Photo, Canva

Teachers working with hands-on materials for NASA lesson plan at IDEAS 2023 Workshop

SC, NC, & ND Space Grant Consortia Lead Educator Workshop focused on Accessibility

Last year, UND’s John D. Odegaard School for Aerospace Sciences hosted the first Innovative Differentiated Exploration Activities in Space Science (IDEAS) workshop, a partnership between the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium (NDSGC), the North Carolina Space Grant Consortium (NCSGC), the South Carolina Space Grant Consortium, and members of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

The intention of the IDEAS Educator Professional Development Workshop is to equip K-12 and college educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to make space science possible for all students, including underrepresented populations and people with disabilities. This goal aligns with the work that NDSGC has been doing to increase diversity and accessibility in space science.

Earlier this month, members of the NDSGC traveled to Baltimore with six North Dakota educators to attend the workshop at John Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The comprehensive, four-day event promoted inclusivity in space science through discussions, presentations and activities.


Read the full article on UND Today.

Author Credit: Walter Criswell

Image Credit: IDEAS Team (ND, SC, & NC Space Grant Consortia)