It was the first time ever for a total solar eclipse to pass over a radio telescope installation. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is home to several, the two largest measuring nine stories high, with lenses 26 feet in diameter. Those telescopes were actually too large to capture the entire solar circumference, so they were only focused on parts of the corona. Smaller scopes captured the full picture, but with lower resolution. Timothy Delisle, who programs the telescopes, said PARI astronomers had been preparing for the event for two decades. The telescopes would map the form and dimensions of the corona and look for variations in the sun’s electromagnetic spectrum. Also on the premises was a group of researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Known as the Advanced Earth Research Observation Kites and Terrestrial Systems crew, these scientists flew kites with meteorological and remote-sensing equipment to observe environmental changes on Earth. Another group on hand came from Lenoir-Rhyne University. They launched a balloon carrying a number of recording devices as part a nationwide project involving about fifty schools. The balloon, incidentally, burst during totality, at 99,400 feet. The eclipse at PARI attracted an estimated 200 scientists, officials, and members of the press; on top of the 800 members of the public who attended the sold-out event.