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NASA Creates Braille Experience For Blind Students

First Posted: Dec 17, 2016 03:09 AM EST

NASA is helping blind students experience the space and the cosmos. Now, they are using an upcoming total eclipse to do it.

The space agency had former braille projects including publishing a book titled
Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy in braille in 2008 for blind students and other blind people to experience touching the universe with brilliant Hubble Space Telescope photos of the universe. Now, it hopes to spark interest in science among students at the Arkansas School for the Blind.

NASA wrote a book in braille about an upcoming total eclipse expected in August 2017. It hopes to show children about the eclipse since they could not witness it. The Arkansas Space Grant Consortium delivered the book to students in the school, hoping to inspire them to learn more about the space, the stars and the universe.

Since the students are learning the science behind the eclipse, this is a timely project to help them understand it better. "It shows a partial eclipse. It shows a total eclipse and it shows what happens when the moon comes between the sun and the earth," Dr. Constance Meadors told KATV.

"It also shows the path of totality as the moon goes across the nation so a student would be able to trace that path of totality and hopefully understand what a solar eclipse is. They want to make sure that even those with disabilities are aware of their abilities to be a part of the NASA administration or NASA programs," Dr. Meadors added.

August 2017 Total Eclipse

The total eclipse next year, expected on Aug. 21, is also known as the "Great American Total Eclipse." According to Space.com, American skywatchers can witness the cosmic event as it will darken skies all the way from Oregon to South Carolina, spanning about 70 miles wide.

The last total solar eclipse in the United States happened on Feb. 26, 1979, more than three decades ago.

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