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NASA Solar Ambassadors stayed busy in Indiana during eclipse

(Photo supplied/NASA)
One group of people that were busy during Monday’s total solar eclipse were NASA Solar System Ambassadors. One of them ended up in Greenwood at Independence Park.
John McGill has been an ambassador since 2018. Initially, he was going to be in Texas for the eclipse, but the weather didn’t look promising, so he went to Indianapolis. The staff at the Indianapolis International Airport offered to give him a spot that was favorable for viewing, but he decided that he wanted to be around people in a social setting.
He considered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but since one of his family members is on the spectrum, he wanted a spot that was a little less crowded and loud. So he went south and ended up at Independence Park.
“I didn’t want to be on my own. As astronomers, we’re usually on our own anyways, so we like it when we can get involved with people,” said McGill.
McGill said he enjoyed his experience in Greenwood.
“It was a really nice park. It was really family-oriented. Kids were running around on the swing sets and then everything got serious when totality started,” said McGill.
McGill says he’s just “an ordinary guy with extraordinary contacts access to special privileges and people.” McGill lives in Michigan, but there are 21 ambassadors in Indiana.
“There’s about 1,000 of us around the U.S. The best way to start is just have an interest in science and see where that leads you,” said McGill.
These are volunteer positions, but if you enjoy science, then McGill says you will probably enjoy working with NASA.
NASA says their Solar System Ambassadors Program reaches more than 11 million audience members through both live and online events in their communities.

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