While I was sitting in a story meeting March 9, another editor asked, “When was the last time each of the 50 states saw totality?” I thought I’d heard every eclipse-related query. Not this one. Anyway, the question sent me into research mode, and I created two lists from what I discovered.
Well, Michael Zeiler has done it again. He’s just completed an analysis that estimates just how many people will visit the path of totality on eclipse day. As of the posting of this podcast, he’s created the first few of 12 maps showing estimates for each state through which the centerline passes.
Getting nervous yet? On the date this podcast posts, we’re only 94 days away from the great event. I’m guessing those of you who have yet to decide on a destination have two main concerns: lodging and weather. Unfortunately, the only data you can acquire now about August 21 is climate data. Wait. There’s a difference? Oh, yeah, big time.
Building a simple Sun viewer out of a cardboard box and a pinhole a bit too simple for you? Is the image quality not what you expected? Then try this project. I guarantee you’ll like the results. You’ll need a little lumber, a bit of hardware, and a telescope’s finder scope that’s optically configured for straight-through viewing.
Hey, there’s news from the Post Office, and it doesn’t involve higher prices for stamps. In an announcement from Washington, D.C., the Postal Service will soon release a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you touch it: the Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp.
In this podcast, I’m going to give you some comparisons that you can share on eclipse day. Maybe, like me, you’re hosting a huge event and broadcasting live. If that’s true, you’ll need plenty of cool facts and tidbits to keep people interested during the partial phases. Well, how about sharing how bright the Sun appears on some of the outer planets?
In the May issue of Astronomy magazine, my good friend Ray Shubinski wrote a story called “A Short History of Eclipses.” I’d like to share a few excerpts from it here. “So, what makes a total solar eclipse historic? It may be the way it affected large numbers of people, or how it led to a scientific discovery, or, perhaps, the way such an event impacted the life of just one individual.”
On Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, the fifth and final meeting of the American Astronomical Society 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Task Force took place in Columbia, South Carolina. As with previous meetings, the public was welcome and was welcome to attend freely. Task force members tailored their talks in the mornings for the general public. We got more specific and detailed during the afternoon sessions.
As I post this podcast, the eclipse is a scant 136 days away. Are we having fun yet? As I look back over the past three years, every major thing I did and every place I traveled had something to do with the eclipse. About eight months ago, I posted a similar podcast, but practicing for the upcoming spectacle is so important that I thought I’d go over some of the points I made.
Kate Russo is, first and foremost, totally dedicated to getting the word out about eclipses. She also has supported this podcast series by telling people on several continents about it. As a professional psychologist who has done eclipse-related research, recently, she shared some of her thoughts about the upcoming eclipse, and I thought it would be valuable to summarize them in this podcast.