Astronomy and Astrophysics

Eclipse science: From galloping giraffes to solar wisps

The giraffes ran in circles. The flamingos huddled together. And the rhinos just looked confused.

At the Nashville Zoo, visitors watched and recorded how the animals behaved when the sky turned dark during Monday's total solar eclipse. And there was plenty to see when the moon slipped in front of the sun.

The only trouble was with 7,000 visitors and lots of noise — drowning out the zoo animals, crickets and cicadas — zookeepers still have to figure whether the strange behavior was from the eclipse or the people there to watch the show.

The zoo project was one of many science experiments planned for the eclipse. Citizen-scientists and their more professional...