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Latest News

  • After the eclipse, be sure to submit your Eclipse Memories to us!
  • Watch for Eclipse2024.org - dedicated to the NEXT total solar eclipse in North America! Coming SOON!

    "Eclipse Chasing" - why do all these people do it?

    What is it about a total eclipse that motivates people to travel all the way around the world to see it? And, what makes it so special that one is coming RIGHT HERE to the USA?

  • Kelly Beatty

    We get to go to these terrific places! I've been to Easter Island. I've been to Tahiti, I've been to Libya and Chile and South Africa, and Kenya. It's a long list of places that are just interesting in their own right, and the fact that an eclipse is going through them just makes it that much more special.

  • Joel Moskowitz

    Craig Small on the 2003 flight over Antarctica. We were recorded by a TV station in Melbourne for a presentation, and he put it well when he said, "People who've never seen an eclipse think we're all nuts, but once they see one, they understand and in fact they become one of us!"

  • Jay Pasachoff

    I don't like to use the term "eclipse chasing", because these eclipses move across the Earth at 4,000 mph or so, most of the time. So I consider myself an eclipse preceder. I "precede" the eclipse!

  • Jim Rosenstock

    If you just think you've seen a total solar eclipse, I promise you - you haven’t.

  • Jim Rosenstock

    Because if you see a total solar eclipse, you will know and you will never forget. The world changes, because it's - it's so completely unforgettable that, it could not be a fuzzy thought - it could not be a dim memory.

  • Jim Rosenstock

    Time kind of stands still, during a total solar eclipse - or another way of putting it is, all eclipses are 8 seconds long. Time is kind of meaningless when it happens, and it's always too short when it's over, and it's kind of hard to think about time when it's happening. It's just kind of one of those amazing things.

  • Jim Rosenstock

    You know, the people who go to Antarctica, and the Gobi desert, and places like that, to see an eclipse, you know, you gotta spend a lot of time obsessing on these things. This one coming up in 2017, it's gonna be such a great and easy opportunity for so many millions of people. It's real important to get the word out on this one, because... this is an experience like none other.

  • Glenn Schneider

    It's a tremendous opportunity, because it goes completely across the country. So, no matter where you are, from the northwest to the southeast - I mean, it may be travel for some, but you're within a day's travel. The infrastructure is really good in the country for driving around, and almost anybody could have an opportunity, planning ahead, to see this eclipse. Weather predictions are pretty good, a day or two out, and you very likely can locate yourself somewhere inside the path of totality without a lot of difficulty. So it's a tremendous opportunity.

  • Michael Zeiler

    This is something that will bring everyone together.

  • Michael Bakich

    This is gonna be the biggest event in the world - you know, I could have said in the country, but it is in the world, because it's only in the United States.

  • Kelly Beatty

    For any given American, if you know where the path is, it's gonna be pretty straightforward to just book an airline fare to WY or ID or KS, or NE, or wherever you wanna go. And just get in a car and park yourself along the eclipse path. People coming in from other countries are the ones who are going to want to be given a package. And I think that's where a lot of the appeal is going to be.

  • Miloslav Druckmüller

    Definitely, I will plan to go there, and I will take with me several of my doctoral students and friends. And we would like to have two or three observing places along the totality path, in 2017.

  • Terry Cuttle

    There's a great opportunity for towns that are in the total eclipse path, to take advantage of that.

  • Terry Cuttle

    It took a while convincing the Queensland authorities that people will come! This is a free event! Nature puts it on, and it doesn't cost you a cent. And people…people will come!

  • Terry Cuttle

    Well, the approach I took was that - if I didn't do it, nobody else would!

  • Terry Cuttle

    It took a while, but I convinced the tourism people that there was a fantastic opportunity here. "You'll get visitors from all over Australia, AND international ones! Here's an opportunity to show them the assets that your state have got, and your region have got. And they'll go away with a good impression, and they'll spread the word - and they'll come back!"

  • Terry Cuttle

    The secret to that is to get the message out, and get it widely published. Because, the good message will survive against the naysayers as long as you get it out in sufficient volume.

  • Kelly Beatty

    I think it's a good thing that this eclipse, by virtue of the path that it has, takes it literally and figuratively through America's heartland. This will give foreign visitors a chance to see, in a sense, the real America. The real America is not Disneyland, it's not New York City. It's the ordinary, everyday people that live and work, and I think it'll be a great positive experience for everyone who comes to see the eclipse. Whether they're coming from outside, or whether they're city folks, you know, here in the US, who have to make their way to NE or WY or wherever they end up, in order to see the eclipse. I think it'll be great all around.

  • That's truly a great sentiment - thanks, Kelly!

  • Jay Anderson

    'Cause I get so much delight out of seeing their reaction...!

  • Jay Anderson

    It is indeed, and that's what takes everybody's breath away - that's the oohs and aahs. I'm like a vampire when it comes to eclipses - I park next to somebody who's never seen one, and I kind of feed off of their wonder and their enthusiasm.

  • Jay Anderson

    But then you say, "And then, you'll see the stars in the middle of the day!" "No kidding, you'll see stars?" You know, and that's when the wonderment kicks in a little bit for them.

  • Jay Pasachoff

    A few years ago, I took over as chair of the International Astronomical Union's working group on eclipses. And, we have some responsibility for telling people about eclipses and spreading information around the world, and doing some international coordination. In foreign countries, we try to help people get their cameras and other observing equipment into countries without having to pay duty as they enter, and to other points of coordination. So it's been fun interacting with eclipse-interested astronomers from all over the world.

  • Kelly Beatty

    I take a fairly simple-minded approach to enjoying an eclipse. I don't knock myself out to take photography, or time things, or look for shadow bands. I just appreciate them for the spectacular natural event that they are, and count myself lucky to have the means to be in the right time, and the right place, to stand in the Moon's shadow.

  • Jay Anderson

    You know, this is the ultimate family experience - this is something that should not be done alone. This is something, you should gather your friends, your family. Some of the people we talked to in the Willamette valley in Oregon there, they said "Ah, gee, I guess I'll have to invite the relatives up for this one!" And, exactly right, you know - but not something that should be done by yourself. The moment that it happens, it's all individual. You don't want to be talking to people, you want two and a half minutes. But the before and the after, and the hugs and the kisses, and celebrations, and the Corona beers, that's something that - even if they're strangers, there's gotta be people around you! It's that kind of an event, it's gotta be shared. And I know guys that have five year old kids, if the kids are over five they'll remember it; they may want to play with their video games up until it happens, but after that they'll talk about it and all the rest of their lives they'll say "Oh yeah, I remember that - my dad took me and the Sun went out."

  • Michael Zeiler

    I approach an eclipse as, I've already done my work. I've made maps for people to find their location, and I know that I can't and I don't really want to compete with the people with these expensive telescopes and lenses and cameras, so I want to just focus on enjoying the experience.

  • Michael Zeiler

    My normal program for observing an eclipse is just to gaze upon it with my eyes, say for roughly half the time, and then study it with binoculars for the other half of the time.

  • Terry Cuttle

    Asbsolutely! And there are ZERO staging costs! You've got a fantastic event, that costs you nothing! And - people will come!

  • They surely will! Well, we've talked about traveling the world, and what's been done in other locations.
    But the 2017 eclipse is coming to the US, and there are a lot of big events being planned!

  • Michael Bakich

    We'll be at the airport in St. Joseph MO, which is about 40 miles north of Kansas City proper, about 30 miles north of the Kansas City airport.

  • Michael Bakich

    Now, St. Joseph is a city of about 85,000. And ordinarily, you'd think it must be a really tiny airport. However, the National Guard is based there - and so, their longest runway is 8100 feet long! So there is a TON of space there, and in fact, we're not gonna be on the runway! 'Cause you can imagine, in the middle of summer with the Sun high in the sky, you really don't want to set up anything - especially telescopes - on a concrete runway. Luckily, the National Guard has an area to the west of the runway, that they call the "drop zone", where they practice dropping in supplies to emergency victims. They have alloted to us 52 and a half acres for the crowd on eclipse day - which is huge! The only thing that might impede somebody getting to the airport is that there's a single road running into the airport. It's a two-lane road, and that morning, they're gonna make it both lanes in; of course, after the eclipse it'll be both lanes out.

  • Michael Bakich

    The airport authority is hoping we only get 50,000 people - but it could be four or five times that much.

  • Michael Bakich

    OH - it's gonna be a huge party! Ha ha!

  • Michael Bakich

    They're gonna have to be in the northeast part of Kansas City. The northeast part gets, maximum about 35-40 seconds of totality - which is still totality... - but in St. Joe we're gonna have an extra two minutes on top of that!


  • All right - well, let's hope everyone can get into the path - wherever they are! - and really enjoy the total eclipse!! Next, we're gonna let loose - and listen to our experts tell their FAVORITE eclipse-chasing stories. It's a complete hoot, and I hope you'll stick around for it!


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