Eclipse Chasers: It’s time to get chasing
Witnessing a total solar eclipse is a wondrous and unforgettable event! That’s why Exmouth in Western Australia will soon be a focal point for scientists and enthusiasts from all over the world as they seek the best possible view of a total solar eclipse.
Ahead of this upcoming event, authors Nick Lomb and Toner Stevenson have released a new book entitled Eclipse Chasers in which they look at our long-held fascination and pursuit of these awesome events.
Eclipse Chasers is a guide to past and future Australian total solar eclipses, exploring historical and cultural knowledge, as well as featuring five upcoming eclipses that will be visible in Australia.
The book delivers practical tips to ensure ‘eclipse chasers’ get the best possible experience and also includes expert contributions by Associate Professor Duane Hamacher, Uncle Ghillar Michael Anderson, Melissa Hulbert, Kirsten Banks and Geoffrey Wyatt.
‘There have been other books about solar eclipses, and there will be much information elsewhere on the coming eclipses, but this book aims to put them into perspective, with stories and images that are all uniquely Australian,’ note Lomb and Stevenson.
YOU TOO CAN BECOME AN ECLIPSE CHASER
The Ningaloo Eclipse will occur on April 20 at 11:29 am local time. Darkness will descend, the temperature will drop, the horizon will glow and stars will become visible. The full eclipse will be best witnessed across a 250 km wide tracking path, with Exmouth being the prime land-based option.
You should never look directly at the Sun with your unprotected eye and need specifically designed viewing glasses (regular sunglasses or welder masks will not do). There is also advice for those using telescopes, or for those wanting to go ‘old school’ with a kitchen strainer and piece of cardboard.
If you plan to photograph or video the eclipse, by phone or digital camera, you need to have the settings right (and batteries charged). The book explains the best way to set-up your devices.
You may need warmer clothes for the drop in temperature, chairs, water and snacks and even insect repellent (mosquitoes love twilight).
The Ningaloo event in April will herald an extraordinary run of five total eclipses in Australia across the next decade and a half occurring April 2023, July 2028, November 2030, July 2037 and December 2038.
Eclipse Chasers is a practical guide to viewing and understanding these rare and wonderful events and includes a wealth of historical and cultural insight into how humans have interpreted, documented and pursued the phenomena of total solar eclipses.
Don’t you think it’s time to get chasing?
Eclipse Chasers showcases the drama and beauty of total solar eclipses and is essential for anyone fascinated by or wanting to learn more about these amazing events. It is available to purchase on our website and from all good bookstores.
Teacher Notes are also free to download from our website.
Astronomy Professor Dr Nick Lomb has guided Australians in all things astronomical for decades. Nick was the Powerhouse Museum/Sydney Observatory Astronomy curator for 30 years and is the author of the annual Australasian Sky Guide.
Dr Toner Stevenson is an honorary History affiliate at the University of Sydney and has over 30 years’ experience working in museums and heritage sites in Australia and the UK.