The 2024 Dr. Jack Mack Lecture in Astronomy and Planetary Science

Experiencing Totality - The Great Total Eclipse of 2024

Fred Espenak (“Mr. Eclipse”)


What is it like to experience a total eclipse of the Sun? We will hear eyewitness accounts of totality from great astronomers of the past as well as recent experiences of the speaker.

On April 8, 2024, a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from North America for the first time since 2017. The track of the Moon's shadow will cross Mexico, the central and northeastern United States, and eastern Canada. Compared to 2017, the path of totality is 70% wider, and the duration is nearly twice as long (4.5 minutes). With portions of 15 states and 6 Canadian provinces in the path, the 2024 eclipse promises to be the most widely viewed eclipse of all time.

A preview of this highly anticipated event will feature maps and weather prospects along the eclipse path based on the speaker’s recent books on the subject.

About the speaker:

Fred Espenak is the most recognized expert on eclipses. He is an astrophysicist emeritus at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he published over a dozen books on solar eclipses. Fred is well known for his eclipse photography, and his image of the 2006 eclipse was featured on the U.S. Postal Service’s forever stamp commemorating the 2017 solar eclipse across the United States. Learn more about Fred and his work at,, and 

Mr. Espenak will be selling and signing several of his eclipse books before and after the talk, 6:45 – 7:15 pm and 8:30 – 9:30 pm. Book prices are approximately $10 - $40 and only CASH will be accepted.

Proceeds benefit educational programs at the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium 

For more information about this and other eclipse-related events, visit

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