Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Eclipse Talk on YouTube and New Kind of Eclipse Stamp

We are exactly two months away from the eclipse of the Sun that is coming to North America on August 21, 2017. I gave an illustrated, non-technical talk on the eclipse in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture series, and it is now available on YouTube at: The talk has lots of information and visuals on where and how the eclipse will be visible, how to watch it safely, and how the U.S. is preparing for the huge crowds that are expected in the narrow zone where the eclipse will be total.
   Yesterday, the U.S. Postal Service issued its first ever "thermochromic" stamp in honor of the eclipse. That means when you touch the picture, it changes. Clearly this is a stamp every science will want to have. You can get them at your post office or by mail through:
   If you have not planned for the eclipse yet, now is the time to start thinking about where you will be on Monday, Aug. 21 and how you and your family or colleagues will observe the eclipse. In the video, I explain what is happening and give suggestions for safe viewing techniques. (Remember, any time any part of the Sun is showing, it's not safe to look at with just your eyes or sunglasses.)
   Thanks to grants from the Moore Foundation and Google, three astronomy colleagues and I were able to distribute 2 million safe eclipse-viewing glasses to public libraries nationwide. Check with your library to see if they are participating. The free booklet for libraries can be downloaded by anyone at: