Spreading The Word

Spreading the Word


In July, towards the end of our cross country eclipse promoting trip, we stopped at WFAE radio (NPR affiliate) in Charlotte, NC to be interviewed. We spoke with Sarah Delia for a half hour and left feeling good about our time there. The interview was to be aired in August, but no certain date given. That’s not unusual in the ‘news’ world. Then lots of stuff, big stuff news-wise, happened in Charlotte that kept postponing our interview.

But this morning it aired. I think it is a good piece. Here is a link to it:


This is the camper we traveled 11,400 miles in this summer.

If you haven’t made any plans to go see the eclipse, please start now. And take a kid with you. It could change their life. It will certainly be a real memory maker for the family.

The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

Some of you may know that the Internet has an archive. My first website was in 1995 when I was an adjunct faculty member of the University of South Florida in Sarasota. Through the archive, I have found captures of my website. The earliest is from December 1998. It contains a page I made for the total solar eclipse of February 1998, which I saw from Aruba.


I gave my students a challenge to create an image for me to use on the page. Austin Shoemaker produced this one that I used. Here is the link to the page so you can see how primitive it was, by today’s standards. http://bit.ly/2cZxUS8¬† I, at least, got a chuckle out of it.


Annular Eclipse – 2016

Annular Eclipse – 2016 (sometimes called the ring of fire)

On September 1, 2016 parts of Africa, Madagascar and Reunion experienced an annular (ring) solar eclipse. The moon passed directly in front of the but was too far away (hence, appeared too small) to completely cover the sun. At the time of the eclipse the sun’s apparent diameter was 31′ 42″ (that’s 31 arc minutes, 42 arc seconds) while the moon’s was 30′ 46.4″, about 3% smaller than the sun. That meant that no total eclipse occurred. Even that small amount of sun is too bright to see the corona. Here are some images. The map is from NASA, the photos from USA Today.

2016Annular (Small)

A large part of Africa saw a partial solar eclipse but only  those places between the blue lines, saw an annular eclipse. Not as cool as a total solar eclipse, but still pretty amazing.

View eclipse Reflection

These people are looking at the sun’s light reflected in the puddle of water. The reflection is bright but not bright enough to damage your eyes.

mask-shades Eclipse

I have never seen eclipse shades modified like this. Nothing wrong here, in fact, this shows just how much of a celebration these events are.


The ring of fire. You still need your eclipse shades on to view this. But it is definitely a cool sight.

There is one more annular eclipse before the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. It is mostly over water although a bit of Angola, Argentina, and Chile are in the path.


One Year To Go

OneYearTOGOv2This weekend marks one year until the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. Me and my minion friends can hardly wait. The anticipation is starting to build. I have traveled to see five of these on 4 continents and they are truly amazing! This is no hype. It is not just something to see, but something to experience. Most Americans have not seen one of these since the last one anywhere in the 48 states was 1979 and the last one east of the Mississippi was 1970. As another example, the last one in Missouri was 1834!

People make plans a year in advance for things like reunions, cruises, and the like. It is not too early to start making yours. I will be viewing this eclipse from Cookeville, Tennessee. Come join me there or chose your own place. But whatever you do, start making those plans NOW! Please check out the rest of my site to make sure you are prepared to experience this once in a lifetime event.

CREDIT: I got the idea for using this image from Dr. Kate Russo.

Eclipse Interview Coming

Eclipse Interview Coming


I just finished recording an interview about the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse for a radio program called Suncoast Speaks hosted by Chuck Englund. It will air on Sarasota radio station, WLSS, AM 930, this Saturday, August 20, from 7:30 to 8:00 AM (11:30-12:00 UT) and re-aired Sunday, August 21, 1:30 – 2:00 PM. You can stream it at those times at am930theanswer.com. After that it will be posted as a podcast. Please share this.
And remember, Go See The Eclipse and Take a Kid With You.

Grand Canyon – Now A Dark Sky Park!

Grand Canyon – Now A Dark Sky Park!

While I was at the Grand Canyon Star Party this June (see my post here), they announced that the park had received provisional status as an International Dark Sky Park. This is a BIG deal! Why, you ask? Because the Grand Canyon is such a big park! Every single light fixture in the park had to be located and documented to see if it met the International Dark Sky Association’s rigorous standards. It took a couple years, but they did it. Over 5,000 fixtures were cataloged, 2,000 of which are compliant with the IDSA’s requirements. That means that 3,000 are not and will have to be changed out/upgraded. They have 3 years to accomplish this.

During the week long star party CBS came and videoed for a segment they would broadcast on their morning show. That segmented was preempted twice this summer by breaking news but was finally aired today, Thursday, August 12. Here is the segment. (I was there during the filming but am not in the aired segment.)