2017 Neff Public Lecture
Dr. Fred Espenak
Scientist Emeritus, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
On August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from the contiguous United States for the first time since 1979. The track of the Moon's shadow cuts diagonally across the nation from Oregon to northeast Kansas to South Carolina. Inside the 68-mile-wide path of totality, the Moon will completely cover the Sun as the landscape is plunged into an eerie twilight, and the Sun's glorious corona is revealed for over 2 minutes.
Short BioFred Espenak is a retired NASA astrophysicist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center where he worked with infrared spectrometers to probe the atmospheres of the planets. He is also known as "Mr. Eclipse" because of his work on predicting and observing solar eclipses. He has written over a dozen books on eclipses including his most recent "Eclipse Bulletin: Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21." Espenak also runs 3 web sites on eclipse prediction (www.EclipseWise.com), eclipse photography (www.MrEclipse.com) and astrophotography (www.AstroPixels.com). Over the past 45 years he has witnessed 26 total eclipses of the Sun. In 2003, the International Astronomical Union honored Espenak by naming asteroid 14120 after him. Espenak now lives in Portal, Arizona where he operates Bifrost Astronomical Observatory.