This Week in Space 105 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

00:00 - Rod Pyle (Host)
On this episode of this Week in Space, we're previewing 2024's Great Solar Eclipse. Stay with us. Podcasts you love From people you trust. This is TWIT. This is this Week in Space, episode number 105, recorded on April 5th 2024. Apoceclipse with astronomer Joe Rao on April 5th 2024,. Apoceclipse with astronomer Joe Rao. Hello and welcome to this Week in Space the great solar eclipse of 2024 edition. I'm Rod Pyle, editor-in-chief of Ad Astra magazine, and I'm here, as I always am, with my good friend with the really goofy eclipse glasses, tarek Malik, editor-in-chief of Spacecom. Hello, rod and supermodel.

00:48 - Tariq Malik (Host)
How are you? These are official Spacecom eclipse glasses, my friend, so I'll have you know that.

00:54 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, ring the bell for product placement number one. All right, and we're joined today, thank goodness, by Joe Rail.

01:02 - Joe Rao (Guest)
You said you were going to ring the bell. I just rang the bell for you.

01:05 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I heard Joe is a meteorologist, astronomer and eclipse chaser and we're going to talk about the upcoming solar eclipse and apoc Eclipse is like to talk when they're talking about the expected crowds. So, hi, joe, thanks for coming in today.

01:21 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Appreciate it, thank you and thanks for the invitation.

01:25 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Oh, we'll. We'll send them to you with increasing frequency. Now, before we start, please audience, our beloved audience. Don't forget to do us a solid. Make sure to like, subscribe and all the other podcast things for us, because we want your love Now, because I know you're all waiting for it to be out of the way. A space joke from loyal listener Brant Kruger.

01:47 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Are we ready? I'm ready, I'm ready. Lay it on me, brant.

01:50 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Tarek. Why did the astronomer visit the barber in the dark? I don't know, rod. Why, because eclipse. Okay, joe, yeah, yeah, you're the eclipse and sky professional. Give us your best shot.

02:06 - Joe Rao (Guest)
This is actually a better one for next year. Next year we're going to have a total eclipse of the moon on March the 14th, so this is more of a lunar than a solar eclipse joke. But what happens to the moon during a total lunar eclipse? I don't know. I don't know. The moon becomes a shadow of his former self.

02:26 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, you got the good one, very good, well as always. Please, listeners, save us from ourselves and yourselves and send us your best work or most indifferent space jokes, because clearly we need them, and you can send those to TWIS at twittv. That's twits at twittv. Let's get to some headlines. Hey, yes, In an unusual twist of affairs, china's dropping pieces of debris on people out of the sky.

02:54 - Tariq Malik (Host)
You know, I thought this was an April Fool's joke because on April the 2nd which was, I think, the Tuesday of the week that we're recording this, and the day after April Fool's, I got all these calls from people in California saying, hey, what was that thing in the sky last night? It was like crazy. And it lit up the sky and, of course, there was a SpaceX Starlink satellite launch from Vandenberg because these days wind isn't there, right and so I was like, well, maybe it was that, and they're like no, maybe it was that and they're like, no, this was. They're like look at the video, and the video clearly, uh, you can see, uh, like debris breaking up. It's something that it's very clearly uh, a large object. It's not like a stage or something like that. It's, it's. It's not a meteor, which I was asked about too. Um and uh, after a little bit of of of digging the the folks that hunt this stuff down Jonathan McDowell, you know, in Massachusetts, and whatnot they figured out that it was the orbital module of China's Shenzhou-15 crew capsule. Oh my, it launched in November of 2022. And if folks don't know, like, are wondering, like, what is this orbital module? Don't they need that on a crew capsule.

China's Shenzhou spacecraft are like the Soyuz. They have three different compartments. There's the crew capsule, part of it where the crew sits, the three of them and that's in the center. On the top is this orbital module which is kind of like a storage room where they pack all their cargo and all the stuff, and then there's like a propellant and a service module that they use and that orbital module can stay in orbit. You know, extra time. They used to use it for extra laboratory, you know tests, but I guess they just left this one up there two years ago and now it came back to Earth and they didn't tell anybody. Hey, watch out for it which you know is sort of par for the course for these reentries of tiny space junk. No one was hurt. There weren't any reports of debris reaching the ground, but it did wow a lot of spectators across Southern and Central and even North parts of Northern California.

04:58 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Now I don't think there's any specific mention of reentry tracking and informing each other in the Outer Space Treaty, as I recall, but there are other agreements and customary behaviors about telling people that okay, we've got this uncontrolled reentry happening. You might want to duck and cover. So you're saying that was not the case here and hasn't been with them in general, that's not what I mean.

05:22 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Normally, if there's a reentry, you don't really hear too much about it with them in general. That's not what I mean. Normally, if there's a reentry, you don't really hear too much about it. There was one or two kind of satellites like big satellites that fell. That they said, oh yeah, it's going to fall. We don't know where you know, but we know it's coming down. The Tiangong 1 and 2 space laboratories, the prototypes for the Tiangong space station come to mind. They just let them fall out of space uncontrolled, wherever they they they happen to be. It is a little weird that this one kind of was really visible from from well inland of the of the U S, that they didn't tell them that it was coming down. So be on the lookout for it. But you know, if space command was tracking it and did get a, get a heads up. You know, we, we didn't hear anything about that. There it's kind of customary to say, hey, we got some junk falling over your.

06:05 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah, yeah, you might want to, but if nothing else, you want to let Space Force know, so they don't you know, hover there, shoot it down or anything yeah. Missile buttons. All right, and in keeping with our theme of death from above, we had another one that came home to Florida, which is interesting that this one actually came home. I mean, it came right back near to launch site.

06:28 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, yeah, this happened actually on March. This happened on March 8th, but it was confirmed over the weekend and essentially, in Naples, florida, a man, alejandro Otero, reported that something crashed through his roof and both floors of his house, you know, in the afternoon like at 2.30. And it's like a weird cylindrical tube and we've got some pictures of it actually on Anthony it's online I think it's 24 there, where you can see the actual photos of this thing. It's just a big hunk of metal, very, very strange. And some folks were wondering is it in fact space junk? Very, very strange, and some folks were wondering is it in fact space junk? And what they found out was that it appears to be part of a big NASA pilot that they tossed off the space station a good while back, a part of the EP9.

The battery pilot. Right, yeah, the battery pilot. So during a spacewalk, and it's pretty chunky, you know these things and so it did come back and they think that that's what this was. It was a a big piece of space junk that, uh, that was to survive the re-entry, because these are really dense metal, uh, objects, um, and that's typically what does survive, uh, and it's. I just tell you, I mean, when this, when this happens, it's just a miracle that no one is hurt when it comes crashing through somebody's house like that. So, but yeah, yeah, they launched it out of Florida, near Naples, cape Canaveral, and it came back home. I guess it was a little sad and homesick for the stomping grounds.

07:54 - Rod Pyle (Host)
It's kind of interesting because it's been a few years since I looked this up, but I was looking up meteorite impacts quite some time ago and most of them don't seem to have quite that much motive force behind them. You know they might come through a ceiling, but this one went through a ceiling and two levels of flooring right yeah, yeah, and it must have been super, super like, like dense right, because it's uranium or something. No, it was a hydrogen. Oh, what was it was?

08:22 - Tariq Malik (Host)
it's the last generation of uh battery technology yeah, so wow, I mean, and, and that's the, what isn't the plot of dead like me, right, she, the the main, the main star, she, she was walking down the street and she got, uh, she got hit by a piece of the mirror space station toilet and it killed her and then she became like a under uh, like a grim reaper or something like that okay, um, what I also thought was kind of interesting about this was that the whole reason that they abandoned that pallet in orbit, which is not something they would normally do, was because they had had kind of a backup.

08:55 - Rod Pyle (Host)
You know, the traffic to and from the space station is pretty tightly controlled and very constrained, and they were they had just used, as I gather gather their last Japanese cargo ferry, because normally they put this in one of those and bring it home, I guess. But they didn't have anything large enough to handle it, and so they tried to figure out other ways. You know, the Dragon capsule wasn't big enough, the Soyuz, of course, isn't big enough, and without having the, what was the Japanese module called? Not Hokuto, kibo, kibo, no, no, no, not the orbital module, the cargo carrier.

09:33 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Oh, the pallet, you mean oh the HTV.

09:37 - Rod Pyle (Host)
HTV. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they used up their last HTV, so that was that and they just had to let it go and cross their fingers. Anyway, that was that and they just had to let it go and cross their fingers. Anyway, I'm glad it didn't do more damage than it did.

09:46 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And we should point out that this is, this is a, a palette that was jettisoned back in 2021. It wasn't like. It was just like in the last year or so it's it's been up there and it was expected to reenter and burn up in the atmosphere, and so this is, this is how they deduction.

10:06 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Cool. Well, next time we'll have them aim it at your house. All right, it's time to talk Apocalypse, and we will do so right after we come back from this short break. Stay with us.

This episode of this Week in Space is brought to you by Wix Studio. Instead of reading you another let's face it, boring ad script, wix Studio just sent me this wild looking website to scroll through and tell you about. But before I do, I just want to mention I ad script. Wix Studio just sent me this wild-looking website to scroll through and tell you about. But before I do, I just want to mention I've been using Wix for years for my website. I've always enjoyed the tool set. It's easy to use, it's fast, it's convenient. I like the way it displays. But this takes things to a whole new level. I'm already excited, of course, because what they sent me is a space theme site. I I'm already excited, of course, because what they sent me is a space theme site. I think they may have made this just for us, okay.

So let's see what this scrolly telling is all about. There's an astronaut falling through clouds. Now we see two planets are crashing into each other. That's never a good day and this text is popping up as I scroll and it's telling me all about the search for other species out there. And now we're talking we got a spaceship. I like that. This is amazing. I feel like I'm in space. It's wild how you could do all this without having to do code. And now it's your turn to lift off. Build your next web project on Wix Studio, the platform for agencies and enterprises. Go to wixcom slash studio or click on the link on the show page to find out more. All right, let's move on to Eclipse Mania here. So, joe, we've had you on before. I think people probably remember you, but if you could just give us a little refresher on who you are and what makes you magnificent, that would be great.

11:39 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, who am I? I've been writing for Spacecom the night sky column on Spacecom for good Lord, over 22 years, wow. And I am an associate and a guest lecturer over at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, the Hayden Planetarium in New York. My advocation is meteorology. For 21 years I was the chief meteorologist and science editor at News 12, westchester and Hudson Valley, and aside from all of that, I'm an all-around good guy too.

12:11 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I can attest that tar keeps telling me.

12:13 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So are you and Neil deGrasse Tyson like bros.

12:18 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Neil and I are good friends. In fact I've been at the Planetarium even longer than he has. I started in 1986, and Neil came on in 1994 and became the director a year later. But we know each other very well. We're two Bronx boys. I think that's the most impressive thing for him is that I'm a fellow Bronxonian, if there is such a thing.

12:39 - Rod Pyle (Host)
If there is such a thing, Cool. Well, thank you. And you've seen how many eclipses did you say?

12:46 - Joe Rao (Guest)
This will be the one solar eclipses. This one coming up will be number 14 for me. Wow, 14 total solar eclipses, 14 totals. I've also seen two annular or ring eclipses. I've also seen, uh, a couple of transits of mercury and one transit of venus.

13:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So but Did you see them from Tahiti?

13:06 - Joe Rao (Guest)
The Venus transit. Yeah, no, I saw it from right here where I'm talking to you right now, from Valley, New York. I was able to catch the last hour of that transit, as the sun was coming up over here and then Venus moved off the sun and that was that.

13:22 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I mean the smart British navigators of centuries past always seem to find lush and luxuriant South Pacific locations to go view these things.

13:30 - Tariq Malik (Host)
So I always thought that was pretty smart of them. Oh no.

13:32 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah, yeah, Poor Captain Cook. All right, we're getting off track here. So Tarek had mentioned earlier to me. He said you know, let's talk a little bit about where you go to see eclipses and what it's like. So can you just remind us where you were in 2017 and what you saw as kind of a primer for what's coming up?

13:50 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, where I was in 2017, I was one of the very first people to see that total eclipse.

I was on board a charter flight by Alaska Airlines for the news media and also celebrities. There was a shuttle astronaut I'm sorry, I beg your pardon, that I don't remember the shuttle astronaut's name, but he was one of the astronauts who flew on the space shuttle. There were contest winners as well, and we had our airline. Alaska Airlines placed the aircraft 1,000 miles to the west of the Oregon coast and we were all the way out there, because they wanted to get a clear view through the windows straight through, and in order to do that, they had to lower the altitude of the sun, so we had to get it down to like maybe 15 or 20 degrees above the horizon, actually near the sunrise point of the path of totality, and we were among the very first, as the shadow of the moon touched down on the earth and started moving toward the United States, to experience that total eclipse. And about 15 or 20 minutes later, it arrived at the Oregon coast and then began that trek across the country, coast to coast, from Oregon to South Carolina Wow.

15:03 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And we should point out we didn't mention it at the start, but the whole reason we're talking is that we are, as of now, we're recording this episode on April 5th, just for the record and we are three days away from the April 8th 2024 total solar eclipse, and the one that you saw the primer I saw it too, from Carbondale, illinois was on August 21st 2017. So that was kind of like a one-two punch for the US. So these must happen all the time then, right, joe? Since we're getting two in seven years, how rare, then, is it to kind of have a second go at it? You know?

15:38 - Joe Rao (Guest)
on average let's say for the United States, or maybe we should just say the contiguous, the lower 48 United States I would say that on average per century, the US will get maybe eight or 10 eclipses. So if you do so, that averages out to maybe about one every 10 or 12 years. But remember that the 2017 eclipse ended a drought. We had not had a total eclipse over the contiguous US prior to that, since 1979. That was a 37-year wait, and now not so long, seven years later. Here we are in 2024, preparing to see another total eclipse, and after this one, the next one over the contiguous US will be 20 years from now. That'll be at sunset or near sunset for Montana and North Dakota. So it varies, you know.

I say on average, maybe once every 10 or 12 years, but sometimes you can wait as long as 30 plus years for a total eclipse to come to the US. Other times, in this case, only seven, pretty nice. Where will the next one be? Well, the next one in the contiguous US will be near sunset over Montana and North Dakota. The big one, the one that's even better than the one that's coming up this year, will be in August of 2045. That one, again like the one in 2017, is going to go from coast to coast, from the Pacific Coast and then stretching on down south and east, moving across most of Florida. In fact and all of you Disney fans will love this the eclipse is going to pass over Disney World, where you're going to see six minutes and six seconds of totality. Six minutes, wow. Isn't that amazing? That'll be August, I believe, august 12th 2045. Make your hotel reservations now. It's 21 years from now.

17:26 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, now for those of us who are probably not going to make it that long though after this one coming up Monday, where's the next one? Globally?

17:34 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, again, you know I hate when the news media says rare total eclipse of the sun. They are not rare because on a global scale, in fact, I do have behind me a globe, and this globe was created by a very great person of eclipses, michael zeiler, who has been mapping these things for a number of years now. This globe has the path of totality of every solar eclipse for the 21st century. And after this one, after the one that we are going to be treated to here in the United States or North America, the next one make your reservations now will be in Greenland and Iceland and the Iberian Peninsula. That means Spain and Portugal, and that will be in August of 2026. So only about a couple of years from now and you'll have another shot at it, but this time you'll probably have to get on a boat or a plane, go across the big pond, the Atlantic Ocean, to make your way either to Greenland that's a lovely place to take the wife and kids right.

Iceland A lot of people go to Iceland to see the northern lights. People will be going there to see a total eclipse in 2026 or near sundown. Portugal and Spain, wouldn't you know it? This eclipse track in 2026 just barely misses Madrid, madrid's 99% of totality, but you can literally walk into totality from Madrid in 2026.

18:58 - Tariq Malik (Host)
So I was just thinking about. I think I've had two trips to Portugal and they were both amazing and full of discovery, because there's a history of exploration there and you can catch a solar eclipse there too, if you want to time your visit right. But let's talk about April 8th, joe, because you mentioned just earlier about how this one is going to cross the country and then there's that one that's coming up in another dozen years or so. How is this cross-country eclipse, the Great North American Eclipse, different from the Great American Eclipse of 2017? Because it's a different track, right? It's not following the same 12, 15-state track that we saw from oregon to south carolina 12.

19:45 - Joe Rao (Guest)
2017 was interesting because it broke an eclipse drought, as I said.

Uh, the united states, the contiguous us had not hada total eclipse across any part of the us the lower 48 since 1979 and it was the first time thata total eclipse track went coast to coast in, and I I don't even remember the year, but it was many, many centuries, so that made it interesting.

But this eclipse is going to be better because the path of totality in 2017 was roughly 70 miles wide. The path of totality in this upcoming eclipse is going to beat that by about 40 or 50 miles. One's going to have a width of about 110 120 miles and the eclipse in 9 in 2017, at peak, produced a totality of about 2 minutes and 45 seconds. This eclipse, as it crosses over from mexico into southern texas, will produce a total eclipse of 4 minutes and 27 seconds, far longer than the one in 2017 and even as it diminishes and moves up into the Ohio Valley and upstate New York and northern New England, even up in northern New England. But the Eclipse is going to be even longer than it was in 2017, I believe even up in northern Maine they'll get like three minutes and 15 seconds of totality. So in terms of the width of the totality. So, in terms of the width of the totality zone and also the duration of totality, this certainly will exceed what we had in 2017.

21:12 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And this will. It will make landfall, as I was reading, in Mazatlan in Mexico, which is another great place to go visit, by the way, I've been there too and then it'll cross through southern, through Texas, right and then go kind of up to the northeast, as you mentioned, through Maine. I think you and I are going to be in New York State. Oh, in fact, actually, I'll ask this question in a minute. Let's take a quick break, though, and then we'll ask a question. I'll follow up. So, joe, I just wanted to clarify the path, because you mentioned Texas there. But this eclipse will make landfall right in Mazatlan in Mexico, which is a great place to be too, and it's going to go all the way up through Canada, is that right? So it's not just the US that's going to get to see this right?

21:54 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Yeah, Well, the last one in 2017 was all ours. The only country that was able to see that eclipse in 2017 was the United States, but this time we're going to share it with our neighbors to the south, Mexico and you indeed are correct our neighbors to the north. It will be visible in parts of Ontario and Quebec, Canada, as well as Atlantic Canada. In fact, this eclipse is going to be passing over the second largest metropolis in Canada, Montreal. It barely misses the biggest city in Canada, Toronto. Toronto is going to get like 99.9% Montreal. Interesting, the path is going to cut the city in half. The places.

If you can imagine Montreal and actually a lot of people don't realize Montreal is on an island and the eclipse track is going to go straight across the northern limit of the eclipse will pass across the middle of the city. So if you're in the northern end of Montreal, you'll be just outside the eclipse track, and places to the south of that northern limit, in southern sections of Montreal, will see at least a part of the eclipse. I believe Pierre Trudeau Airport in Montreal will get like one and a half minutes of totality. But again, it also will be passing over New Brunswick in Canada. It'll also be passing through Prince Edward Island. It just barely clips a small little section of Nova Scotia and then will continue on into Newfoundland, Newfoundland, and then after that it goes out into the Atlantic Ocean and comes to an end a little while later, somewhere out maybe a couple of thousand miles to the south and west of Ireland, so that it's going to be a pretty long track 991 or 9200 miles long and generally, on average, about 120, 125 miles wide.

23:42 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So I want to ask a question and I think most of our listeners already know this, but I've been doing some radio out here about this and it's clear from some of the calls that people don't necessarily the general public anyway doesn't necessarily understand that the eclipse is kind of a binary thing. It's like one or zero. You're either in the eclipse track or you're not, and when you're not, if you're looking at 99% of a total eclipse, you're still just looking at the sun. That's going to burn your eyes into cinders. So if you want to see the eclipse, as we're talking about that experience of totality, you have to be under the shadow. There's no, almost there, right?

24:19 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Absolutely, and in fact I was on an eclipse cruise. This was in the Caribbean in 1998. And everybody was counting down and getting real excited and had their eclipse glasses on to look at the partial phases. And then here comes the first 20 or 30 seconds. You just scream your heads off when you're into the opening stages of totality, but here everybody's screaming their heads off and everybody's screaming look at that, look at the corona. It's magnificent.

And about five or six feet away from me there was this woman and she's looking up and she still had her glasses on and she said I don't see anything. What am I missing? What still had her glasses on? And she said I don't see anything. What am I? What am I missing? What am I saying? And I literally had to go over to the woman and take her and pull the glasses here here, look, look there it is the Corona. And it was almost like Roseanne, roseanna Dana from Saturday Night Live. She's looking up, she sees that oh, oh, that's much better, nevermind, yeah, but you don't need your eclipse glasses. It is perfectly safe during the total phase of the eclipse, to look directly at the glasses on Because, again, as Tarek mentioned, even a narrow sliver, a 99% eclipse, sun is still enough to cause some problems if you try to look at it directly with your unedited eye.

25:58 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And let me just add one more quick thing Tarek, At 2017 eclipse I was in Oregon. I did use binoculars during totality, but you got to be really careful with that, because if you have binoculars up at your eyes when it starts to come out, that's a very bad moment and you're just magnifying the laser beams into your retinas. So be very, very careful.

26:19 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Unless you have solar binoculars, which-.

26:20 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, I have solar binoculars, but you don't use those during totality, because then you're just seeing blackness. Right, exactly.

26:26 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Exactly, you know, joe, we're talking about a solar eclipse. The moon is going to cross in front of the sun, as seen from the earth. It happens every now and then. You know why? Why is it something that people should see? And and how does that even happen in the first place that they line up like so perfectly? You know, like what's, what's the kind of, like the big now you're getting metaphysical well, I mean, is it, is it coincidence, is it design, you know?

because there are moons in other parts that cross the sun, like we just saw, the rover, the perseverance rover recorded like two quote-unquote eclipses and of course, their moons are tiny yeah, it's like somebody throwing a potato in front of it.

27:05 - Rod Pyle (Host)
It's not the same right.

27:07 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Our moon, like it, lines up perfectly, which is just crazy.

27:10 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, it's an amazing coincidence that the moon and it doesn't always do this. I mean, we all remember the one in October of last year the moon crossed directly in front of the sun, but we didn't get a total eclipse. Why? Because the moon does not go around the earth in a perfect circle. It goes around in an oval or elliptical orbit. Sometimes it's near to us and other times it's far from us, and when it's at the far point or apogee, you get what I call the penny on nickel effect. Pretend, the nickel is the sun and the penny is the moon.

No matter what you do, you're not going to cover the nickel with the penny. And when we have the moon at that far point, that apogee point, it's just a little too far away to cover the sun completely. And so when they're lined up, you get that ring of fire, so to speak, around the silhouette of the moon, creating an annular or ring eclipse. Now this go around. Six months later, we have a situation where the moon again is going to pass directly in front of the sun, but this time the moon is going to be near its near point to the Earth perigee, about 25,000 miles closer. So it's going to be closer, closer, larger, and this time, when they line up, the moon will be able to cover the entire disk of the sun and set the stage for all the excitement that's going on uh about as we approach this uh, second monday in april, a total eclipse of the sun and so so I can.

28:31 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I can see how that could be scary, right? Because, like well, the sun that we're all used to seeing in the sky, you know or not seeing, but the light you know is going to, is going to get blocked up. But why is it such an amazing personal experience that is worth sharing with, with the people around you? I mean, what else, aside from it getting dark, should people get excited about?

28:56 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well it's. There are things that happen leading into totality or leading out of totality and during totality, that you just don't see in everyday life. For example, about a minute or two before totality, if you look down on the ground, or if you look, maybe, at a house nearby or whatever, on the walls you may see shimmering light and dark shadows. They shimmer, they seem to race across the ground. These are called shadow bands. In fact, recently I heard somebody refer to them as shadow snakes. And we see that because in the final minute or so before totality, the sun is now looking like a razor thin arc of light in the sky and that razor thin arc is interacting with our turbulent atmosphere. Now you see in the sky every night the stars. They seem to twinkle. They're not really twinkling, they're starlight, little pinpoints of light that are coming through the turbulent atmosphere and causing that effect, the scintillation or twinkling effect. The sun is a star but it doesn't twinkle. It's a huge disk of light in the sky, but when it's now knocked down to a hairline crescent, then the atmosphere starts doing its job and causes that, or interacts with that crescent to cause the shadows on the ground to start quivering. It almost looks like you know, if you look at a fish tank and you see on the ground the sunlight shining the fish tank, you see these waves on the ground, or whatever, or even heat over a radiator, so to speak.

Again, you see the shimmering light. Even heat over a radiator, so to speak. Again, you see the shimmering light. It's all a part of the atmosphere and the turbulence of the atmosphere is causing that shimmering effect. Then, when you go into total eclipse I mean imagine this You're going from just before totality the light may appear like it's 20 minutes before sunset and in a matter of, let's say, 30 or 40 seconds, you go from that to like 40 minutes after sunset. It darkens very, very quickly, almost frighteningly, and in fact one of the frightening things about it, if you don't know what the heck is happening is when you look toward the south and west, in the direction of the approaching shadow, it's looking like you're looking at a time lapse of a severe thunderstorm, a towering cumulonimbus cloud of darkness that's rushing towards you.

You can't do anything about it, it's coming your way and then it just comes in over you like a blanket thrown over your head and it's just an absolutely. It just knocks your socks off. And then, all around the horizon, during totality, you see these weird colors that you don't often see during sunrise and sunset. Saffron, I remember one eclipse that almost looked to me like you were looking inside of a beer bottle or an iodine bottle, colors that I really didn't have any name for. And all of this is happening because the shadow is moving like 2,000 and 3,000 miles an hour over you. All of this is changing moment by moment, the colors, the illumination and the stars coming out as well. In fact, the two most prominent objects at this upcoming eclipse will be Venus, below and to the right of the moon, and that may even come out before totality, because Venus is so very bright and Jupiter high to the upper left of the moon, and a scattering of other bright stars.

Again, it just blows you away. It's something that you have never seen. If you've never seen a total eclipse before. It'll just knock your socks off and I predict that the first things out of your mouth, the first words that you will say after it's all over and the sun is starting to emerge. The first things you will say is I gotta see another one of these things. God, this is unbelievable, it is just just an amazing sight. And everybody, everybody, leif Robinson, the late editor and chief of Sky and Telescope magazine. Leif perhaps put it most succinctly and best. He said no one should go through life without seeing a total solar eclipse at least once in their life.

32:31 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, hear, hear life. Well, here, here, and we're going to be back with my public service message in just a moment. Stand by. So, joe, if you don't mind, I'd just like to take a few moments, since we're sort of at the halfway point here, to talk a little bit about safe viewing. So a lot of people, most people, are not going to be in the path of totality. So, while we've been raving about how incredible that is, most people are going to be seeing partials, and so, in a market like LA, we're going to see I don't know 45% or something.

And, of course, you go on Amazon. You see Eclipse glasses and they're sold there by the thousands. Some are okay, some are not okay, and after the 2017 Eclipse, we started getting reports, which is something I hadn't really heard much of before in the past, when I was a kid. You'd see people trying things like you know, wearing a welding mask, which will not work, will not protect you anyway or stacking up sunglasses, which will not protect you.

But now we have companies online selling many, many of them drop these uh glasses that are, for the most part, imported from china, that say iso approved. They also say nasa approved, and nasa is not in the business of approving eclipse glasses. So, um, I just want to impress on people the importance as a person who had cataracts in his 40s from viewing the sun improperly. I want to impress on people the importance of getting good ones and how to tell the good from the bad, and then maybe you could talk about some of the other ways. You know that you could see the partial effect by standing under a tree and seeing all the little partial eclipses on the ground around you, or even just making a fist and making a pinhole.

34:15 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, you know, first of all, it is important to get the right type of eclipse glasses. I have been doing, over the last six weeks, virtual talks about the upcoming eclipse and at libraries and civic groups. I'm very happy to say that just about every library that I serviced said that they had been giving out Eclipse glasses, because the AAS, the American Astronomical Society through a grant, has been able to distribute literally thousands of these glasses to libraries and civic groups, and I have an example of this right here. This is an Eclipse glass that was being given out by my own library in Putnam Valley, new York, and the important thing to note about these is that you need to find what are called the ISO number Right, that that is a certification. As you can see it, I believe the number on all of these glasses is something like one, two, three, four. I can't even I need my my magnifying lens.

35:14 - Rod Pyle (Host)
It's like five digits, yeah, but that's actually very good to know, because one of the things I was concerned about was if, for instance, la County Library, they're not experts in buying these things. So I didn't realize AAS was doing it. So that's good to know that these are actually coming from a reputable source.

35:31 - Joe Rao (Guest)
It's been a wonderful thing and they have been, and and some libraries I mean my own library had put an order in a long time ago and they thought that they were never going to get it. And then, like a couple of days before I was going to give my talk, the head librarian called me up and said we're so excited, we finally got them Five hundred, five hundred glasses. And I talked to her a little while ago, just about a day or two ago, and said all gone glasses. And I talked to her a little while ago, just about a day or two ago, and she said all gone. I mean, these glasses are going really fast and watch out for the scalpers, by the way.

36:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)

36:02 - Joe Rao (Guest)
I remember back in 2017, a couple of days before the eclipse, there were people online who said hey, you want to see the eclipse, you want eclipse glasses. We'll be very happy to get 20 bucks. I mean, these glasses I'm holding here probably don't cost much more than a buck or two at most, but again, people will get very desperate and they will actually buy these glasses. In fact, there's a comic strip I don't know if it's in your newspaper, rod, or maybe our viewers or listeners have it. It's called Crankshaft.

Crankshaft is a comic strip character who drives a school bus. Normally, all during this week before the eclipse, they've been playing up the fact that Crankshaft has bought gazillions of these glasses and he's going to now charge three and four times more than what he paid for them, and he's offering to have people sleep in his basement and he has outhouses in his backyard. He's going to put holes in the roof so that people can look at the eclipse while they're doing that thing. I mean, you laugh, but there are probably people out there who actually will try to do this, who will try to make as much money as they possibly can off of this, while this is a major event and still alive and kicking.

37:14 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, at least Crankshaft did his research. So just a quick follow-up question Even if you have good, certified eclipse glasses, my thought is that still especially for kids, who have clearer lenses in their eyes than old guys like us, so they can get more easily damaged it's probably not a great idea to sit and stare at the sun for 10 minutes with those things, right, even if you're wearing them, or is that okay?

37:40 - Joe Rao (Guest)
They're really made for short glimpses. I will say one thing, and this question has come up at several libraries more than a few times and nobody seems to have been touching upon this, so let me touch upon it here. Somebody asked if you're wearing the glasses and looking at the sun, you know, and oh, there it is the sun and the eclipse. Is it safe for you to take binoculars and put the binoculars against the glasses? So you've got the glasses over your eyes and then you put binoculars behind eyes and then you put binoculars behind?

No, don't do that, because if you do that, the binoculars are bringing the sun's light and heat and magnifying them in the binoculars and coming through the eyepiece. And now that heat is now focused on the plastic in those glasses and those lenses will melt very, very quickly. And if they melt while you're doing all of that boom, you're immediately exposed to that brilliant sunlight, that magnified sunlight. If you're going to try to look at the sun with filtering elements, what you should do is you should put the filters at the front of the binoculars before they have a chance to magnify the intensity of the sunlight. Put them in the front, because if you put them where the eyepieces are. You're asking for trouble because, again, that intense heat behind the eyepiece could cause a problem with the filters. They could melt that plastic and you don't want that to happen while you're looking at the sun with those binoculars.

39:11 - Rod Pyle (Host)
But listeners, please, if you do try that, make sure they're affixed very solidly, because if they fall off and you got those things up to your eyes and the reason I keep ranting about this is as a kid, with my little two inch refractor telescope with the screw in some lens which was not up to snuff, which is why I ended up damaging my eyes, I once had the eyepiece out of it and my head passed by it with the eyepiece out while it was pointed at the sun and I got this whack of very intense light in my eyes and I couldn't see out of my right eye for about 20 minutes maybe. So you know, as Joe's saying, these things are magnifying and effectively becoming a death ray at that point. So you want to be very, very careful.

39:54 - Joe Rao (Guest)
I mean when you were a kid, you take a magnifying glass like I have here right, and you try to uh start, you know, see if you can get a leaf to smoke right, or even if you see a bunch of ants or whatever don't do that.

Don't do that, listeners. The death ray, you know, like that. I mean this is just a simple magnifying glass. Can you imagine if you have like a 40 power eyepiece and magnifying the heat of the sun and that suddenly falls on the retina of your eye? Goodbye eye, that's it, it's all over and they don't grow back.

40:22 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah. So what I've been telling folks, joe, you know, for the glasses I actually bought some from Lunt Solar Systems, who we like. I mean, I know that brand. I've spoken with them at the Northeast Astronomy Forum, joe, that you and I both attend each year, and I just really quickly went to their storefront on Amazon because I trust that brand.

I know that they have quality glasses or that they check to make sure that the ones on their store are quality. And someone asked me can I check at home? And I said, well, if you put them on at home and you can't see anything, you know you're like it's like totally dark. That's good. Even when you're looking at like the lamps in your house, it's dark. You shouldn't be able to see like the pictures on the wall or whatnot, only like the little dimness of the sun when you're looking at. That is what would come through and that's what I've been advising people. If they really want to double check and be safe, is there another test that you would advise people, joe, to do if they want to double check their glasses? I think that's the.

41:20 - Joe Rao (Guest)
That's the one and only test test that you can use to. You know, actually, you're absolutely right. You cannot, you should not be able to see anything through those glasses, even if you're looking at a high powered LED that's right in front of you. If you can see that LED, don't, don't use those glasses. People have come up to me and they said well, I've got a pair of sunglasses, joe, they're really dark, oh God. I'm sure I could look at the sun through those glasses, and you know what you probably can.

But the problem is that you're not just dealing with the, the visible light. You're dealing with also the ultraviolet and the infrared rays. The ultraviolet rays are the things that give you a sunburn after 15 or 20 minutes, and the infrared acts to help to melt the snow on your driveway or on streets and highways by interacting with the blacktop. You don't want those rays hitting you or hitting your eye rays hitting you and or hitting your eye. And indeed, while you are diminishing the light of the sun, those infrared and ultraviolet rays are coming straight through the sunglasses and your eyes don't have pain receptors. They cannot sense that your eyes are being burned by those infrared and ultraviolet rays, so your eyes are being burned by that.

You don't know it, and maybe not immediately after the eclipse, but a day or two later you're'll walk around and say, no, why is it? I don't see it. I see like a black spot over there. That's it. Those are the burns that you and you know what. It might even be not a circular spot. It might be a crescent spot, because that's the crescent sun. You'll have a permanent record on your retina of the eclipse that you watched. Okay, a permanent record on your retina of the eclipse that you watched.

42:55 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay. So everybody, the message here is proceed with caution, use sparingly and don't stare at the sun. And, as I mentioned earlier, if you want to see the partial eclipse and you're outside the path of totality, you can hold up your fist and make a little pinhole that'll kind of project down on the sidewalk. You can go under a tree. If it's got smaller leaves, you'll see hundreds of little partial suns down there. That's what those dappled spots are under a tree. When you're under, full sunlight.

43:22 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I'm bringing a colander. I'm bringing a metal colander.

43:25 - Joe Rao (Guest)
You can even use a Ritz cracker or a saltine cracker.

43:28 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, there you go, all right.

43:31 - Joe Rao (Guest)
They have holes in them. You can take the cracker. Hold a white sheet of paper or cardboard two or three feet away from the cracker. You've got multiple images of the eclipse going on on your cardboard, courtesy of the cracker.

43:44 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Right, all right. So we're going to be back to talk about locations after this short break. Don't go anywhere.

43:50 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Well, joe, we talked a lot about safety and what to look for, like why it's amazing, but we haven't talked about where we're going to be going. I mean, you are the weather expert and of course, we need good weather. If you're going to look at the sky during this, where have you chosen to observe the eclipse, and what should people think about if they're mobile, and about what spot they might want to pick, or if they might want to pick a place where they can get to a different spot if it's clouded out? Where are you going to be?

44:22 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, I'm going to be up in upstate New York. In fact, I'm going to be at a little town, a little community, very close to the Canadian border, called Plattsburgh. However, that was not the only place that I had chosen. I had actually, more than a year ago, I'd made reservations in Dallas, texas, hotel reservations in Dallas, in Little Rock, in Plattsburgh, syracuse, new York. I had a relative who was outside of the Eclipse track, but that was in Cincinnati. You could walk into totality from there, and even a friend who lives in Maine said hey, I got a cottage, come on up if you want to.

But everybody was saying, oh, I'm going to Texas. Oh, I'm going to the weather prospects look best in Texas. Oh, there's no question, I'm going to Texas. That's where the best view is going to be, and the situation is that they were basing all of that on climatology. They were basing that on long-term records of clear sky versus cloud-filled skies, and Texas did indeed have the best option, or was the best option. But climate is what you expect, weather is what you get, and this week we have this major storm that has been working its way across the country, and this storm is going to turn the weather for Eclipse Day, literally upside down, the places that normally would have cloud-filled skies and not so great conditions for Eclipse Day, which is Plattsburgh and Quebec and Maine and New England, they would have like 80 90 cloud cover. At this time of the year they're going to have. Basically it looks like fairly nice, sunny weather and the places down south, like texas, for example. These are places where people have already invested, not just hotel reservations, but they've already bought their plane tickets.

46:07 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah, that's you, rod right. Yes, at double retail, I might add.

46:11 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Oh my goodness, and you know now they're just scratching their heads and saying what am I going to do Because the weather doesn't look all that great down there. I can tell you right now that if you have a rental car and even the rental cars are going hot and heavy now you might want to consider the last time I looked there could be an opening in the general overcast in parts of Missouri and also in Indiana, maybe near Indianapolis. You'll have to keep an eye on the weather, but if you have mobility and you're down, let's say, in Texas or Arkansas or whatever, you may want to get in that car eclipse morning and try to travel up to the north into those openings in the cloud cover. Otherwise, if you stay in Texas, you may have kind of a broken to overcast condition or it might be a case where it's not going to be opaque clouds, in other words solidly overcast. You might just have enough of thin overcast for you to see the sun, but unfortunately it may be the kind of day where you're looking at the sun as if you were looking through a jar of mayonnaise.

I mean, that's not the kind of thing I want to look at for a total eclipse. But again, weird things have happened and indeed for all of you who are interested, anywhere from a line from Watertown, new York, to New York City if you look on a map of New York State, from Watertown, new York, to New York City, if you look on a map of New York State, from Watertown, new York and upstate New York to New York City, draw a line anywhere to the right or to the east and north of that line it's probably going to be reasonably clear for the eclipse on Monday. If you're anywhere to the left of that line, there's going to be a lot of high and mid-level cloud cover. You'll probably be able to still see the sun, but it will be kind of a schmutz-y type of sky and not the kind of best sky that you'd want to look at for a total eclipse of the sun.

47:55 - Tariq Malik (Host)
So, joseph, you're in Plattsburgh, I'm going to be in Potsdam, which isn't too far away it's, I think, a couple hours from you, in Potsdam, new York, largely for two things. Number one, the university there is having kind of like a fun family event, and I wanted to share this eclipse with at least my daughter, because when I saw the last one, I was there for work and I was really sad at the end of it, not because I saw this amazing thing and it was over, but that I saw it kind of by myself and I didn't share it with, like my loved ones there. And this place was in the right place for that. And this place was in the right place for that, and they had dorms for rent for $60 a night, which was much better than the $370 per hotel night at Saranac Lake as well.

But it sounds like I'm kind of on the borderline of your good possible skies, Mark. I'm just to the east of Waterton, it seems like.

48:46 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, if it looks like it's going to start to cloud over just before the eclipse, do you have access to a?

48:52 - Tariq Malik (Host)
car? Yeah, we would, so I guess we could just drive on over.

48:55 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Try to outrun those clouds by going to your east or north and east of Potsdam, and hopefully you'll be able to do that. I might say that sometimes the clouds can help you in one way, because they serve as a kind of a screen in the sky and you'll be able to actually see perhaps the edge of the approaching shadow projected on the top of those clouds as they are coming in.

49:18 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I was going to ask about that and that comes from the West right.

49:22 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Yeah, and it was a soap opera Now I can show you how old I am, or whatever. It was on CBS back, I think, a while ago, called the Edge of Night, and at the beginning of the Edge of Night they showed you a city scene, a skyline, and all of a sudden you saw a sharp shaft of darkness moving over the city skyline and as it passed on by, all the lights in the skyscrapers came on. Really, in some ways, that's kind of like what you're going to see with a total eclipse. You're going to, if the conditions are right, you will see the edge of that giant shadow approaching you from the west and then moving over you, and it's like somebody throwing a blanket over your head and it really does get dark very, very quickly once the shadow has moved through and over you. It is really an amazing sight and once you see it for yourself, you realize why the ancients, when they were encountering a total eclipse of the sun, were scared out of their gourd. They really didn't know what the heck was going on.

50:20 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, and Tarek's got some questions about that, and we do, along with our warnings about how to view the eclipse, we do suggest that people not sacrifice children or pets to this thing, because it's not going to make any difference. But I have two questions. The first, broad one, is where might people go to see what best time for them to look, locally? And two, if you are in a cloud covered area let's say, for instance, outside of Austin, texas perhaps and you're looking a couple of hours earlier thinking, oh God, where are the clouds going to be clear? Is there a place that I can look at on the web that's going to tell me where I'm going to find these clear patches of clouds? Is that a radar map or something?

51:01 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Yes, yes. Well, if you go on Google and type simply GOES G-O-E-S dash 16, the very latest and newest of our meteorological satellites stationary, geostationary satellites that are in orbit, is looking down on North America, and you can get great satellite pictures, visible satellite pictures. On this particular site that NOAA has set up, you can pick out what area of the continent you are located in the Northeast, for example, or around the Great Lakes, or Texas or whatnot and pick your zone and you can see any variety of visible satellite pictures and also infrared, various types of the spectrum of view. That is probably your best opportunity to see where the breaks are and where the holes are and where you might want to go, if you have mobility, to try to find that spot where, if not the clouds are breaking, at least where the clouds are not so thick or thin to give you a a view of uh, the uh of the eclipse again that that would be on great again. Go on google and type in the google box goes, dash 16. The first thing that'll come up will be go 16 imagery or or uh views, satellite views, and just go right there and and you'll be all and check. I'm certainly going to do that as well.

We have such a big advantage. You know, 50 years ago, for example, one of my mentors and mentors in meteorology, dr Edward Brooks, who was a professor of geophysics at Boston College. He was on one of these eclipse cruises. He was the guy to move the cruise ship into the right zone of the eclipse, but what he had to do was he had to make a phone call from the ship to washington dc and whoever he spoke with had to describe what was on the satellite picture and this way he would have to tell the captain where to send it. You don't have to worry about that anymore. You got your phone, my goodness, your iphone. You just go to the right website and on your screen there it is Radar satellite. It's incredible the technology you hold in your hand and you can see instantly what's going on weather-wise in your vicinity or elsewhere just by using your iPhone.

53:21 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And Tarek, will you have anything, any kind of updates like that on spacecom, or just strictly coverage?

53:28 - Tariq Malik (Host)
On spacecom. We'll have coverage through our live blog of where everyone is. I'm not just the only one traveling. We'll have folks in Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana, Dallas and other parts of the country.

But one of the things that we just put up on our main kind of reference guide for the eclipse is a widget from Sky Safari the folks behind Starry Night Software and whatnot and you can actually get this widget straight from them for free too, and it lets you track the eclipse as it's going on. You can put like your location in the widget and it will tell you like where the shadow is going to be. You can see the shadow from orbit as if you were in space on the Earth, and that's one of the cool things about it. You and Joe were talking about timing too. If folks are really looking for a breakdown of their local time, I always recommend timeanddatecom, because they have such comprehensive and localized timing breakdowns for these things where you put your zip code in and it'll tell you everything you need to know too, and that's really, really helpful for folks that don't have a lot of time to plan and just need a quick answer right away.

54:37 - Joe Rao (Guest)
So if you go on Google and type in Eclipse wise 2021, dash 2030, you'll see and this is a site that is put together by Mr Eclipse. That's right, absolutely. And if you go to that specific site for the decade 2021 to 2030, you'll have all of the eclipses, all the solar eclipses that will occur during this decade. You go to this one 2024, april the 8th during this decade, you go to this one 2024, april the 8th and on that particular site, what you're going to find is a spot that you'll get a Google map and then you can zoom in on this area that you are in. You could use your cursor point to the city that you're in, just touch the city and right mouse button click, boom, you'll have a box and you'll be able to see the start of the eclipse for where you are.

If it's totality, you'll get the time of the beginning of totality, the time of the end, the end of the partial eclipse and the duration to the 10th of a second. And this can only have been done by Mr Eclipse himself, fred Espenak, only have been done by Mr Eclipse himself, fred Espenak. So, again, you go to EclipseWise 2021-2030, go to the solar eclipses. They've got solar eclipses and lunar eclipses. You'll have all the solar eclipses going on in this decade. Look for this one April 8, 2024, and then scroll down. Look for the Google map. You click on that and then you just zoom in on the Google map and look for where you're going to be and you'll have all the information but just one mouse.

56:09 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Mouse button click and I'll actually share one more tidbit. Actually, joe, that you shared with me is that fred espadak has written an almanac's guide for this eclipse too, so that you can actually see the roads around your location in case you need to make that pivot. Uh, you'll have a an access. I think I think he's getting up to get it. You think you think I'm going to be without this? There it is. There. It is the road atlas for the total solar eclipse. So he has that. Fred has been that. Put that together for people who are really, really diehard. I would just want to close.

I found an interesting Easter egg today while doing my research for a story. While doing my research for a story and maybe, anthony, if you could pull this one up Basically, I went on Google just Google and wrote in 2024 solar eclipse and it played a nice little cartoon for me. Basically, I got an actual solar eclipse on my computer just from searching for it, and I just think that that's a nice little cute way to amp up the anticipation for the eclipse itself, and I highly recommend everyone to search for that because it's a fun little widget that you can play with, and they've done that before with the Mars rover landing and whatnot, but I think that you know, joe, I'm really excited to share this eclipse with my daughter because I think the next one in the US if we want to go to Montana. I'll be like 60 and she'll be in her 30s, I guess by then.

57:34 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Oh, 60. Poor you, Joe. Do we feel sorry for him?

57:39 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Well, I just became a grandfather, back on February 2nd.

It figures that would have a grandson that was born on Groundhog Day. I'm already thinking ahead to the eclipse 20 years from now, in 2044, or maybe the Disney World eclipse in 2045. He certainly will be 20 or 21 years old and I'd love to be able to be there to take him to see that eclipse. I'm not going to say how old I will be at that time, but I will be up there, so to speak. I hope I will be around so that I will be able to share that experience with him.

58:15 - Tariq Malik (Host)
We should ask listeners to share your stories with us at twittv. Right, rod? We want to hear what they have to say for how it was for them.

58:27 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Absolutely, and ever since we read that, that email about the, the couple that has their special Friday night listening to the podcast, I've been tickled with the idea of we we have to include more of that kind of stuff. So, yeah, it'd be cool to have really interesting stories, especially if something you know, if you have a really good experience or a really bad experience, like me staring at gray clouds all afternoon, that's something we should probably do. Tarek, why don't you wrap it up with whatever you got and we'll jump out of here?

58:58 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I mean, I think that I kind of asked all of the questions that I wanted to ask, unless, joe, you have any other kind of short, uh uh short cheat sheet guides for what people need to be on the lookout for. So we thought it's going to get dark, we might see venus, we might see jupiter, it's going to get colder. Our animals might get animals will howl. Yeah, get a little weird.

59:18 - Joe Rao (Guest)
Uh, anything else they should look for I will only say this for people who are debating even at this moment should I see the total eclipse or should I stay where I am and get a 90% or whatever partial eclipse? It's like going to the Super Bowl. But if you go to the Super Bowl without a ticket, the only thing you're going to be able to do is go into the parking lot, maybe enjoy a couple of tailgate parties, and then, when this game actually begins, all the people will go into the stadium. You're going to be left all by yourself out there, because that's about as much as you're going to be left all by yourself out there because that's about as much as you're going to be able to enjoy the Super Bowl. You got the ticket. You're going to go in, you're going to see the game, you're going to interact with all these people. The whole wondrous things are going to be happening, but you're out in the parking lot. That's basically what it is.

If you're going to stay in the zone of partial eclipse, you're out in the parking lot. You want to get into the zone of totality and you know you say, well, is it worth it? Is it really worth going in and seeing something that, at its best won't last more than three or four minutes, is it really? Yes, yes, because you're going to remember, you're going to come away from that and you're going to remember it for the rest of your life. I guarantee you. So, if you have that chance, if you do make a decision, partial or total, by all means go see the total eclipse. You will not regret it.

01:00:32 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So, tarek, just to make sure that you completely understand what he's trying to say, this is like that first date so long ago when you were a band geek and dates were kind of a foreign concept. Oh my God, you were hoping, hoping gets, hope to get that kiss at the end of that first date and you either did or you didn't. It was a light on light off, wax on wax off, kind of thing.

01:00:55 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I'm going to point out that Rod and I discussed this approach, and this is a watered down version of what he was going to say If it wasn't you didn't get the kiss and you didn't see the eclipse.

01:01:05 - Rod Pyle (Host)
All right, well, we're going to skip right past that. Thank you so much, joe, and thank you, audience, for joining us today for Episode 105 of this Week in Space, about the great eclipse of 2024. Don't forget to check out spacecom, where they'll be tracking this hot minute by hot minute websites of the name, and the National Space Society at nssorg, where we will not be tracking the eclipse, but there's an awful lot of other good stuff to see. Speaking of the internet, joe, where's the best place for us to stay abreast of your eclipse adventures?

01:01:35 - Joe Rao (Guest)
um, well, you can go on my facebook page. Uh, joe, rayo weather on facebook and uh, I. I actually have two sites. I have a quote professional site, a check mark site, because that's up over from the days when I was a TV star. You still are, joe, you still are Of sorts and I also have a personal Facebook page as well. So either one of those pages is going to be just loaded and chock-filled with stuff about the eclipse, from now up to the eclipse and beyond. So I invite people to come on board and take a look and see what you'd be interested in there, all right.

01:02:10 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, I'll be there leaving you messages on Monday afternoon, for sure, tarek, where can we find you gaming away your prime years?

01:02:16 - Tariq Malik (Host)
No, no time for video games. Dr Jones, I've got a solar eclipse to get to right. So we hit the road tonight and start our two-day road trip up to Potsdam. It's going to take us six hours. We're breaking it up so that we don't have to drive through the Adirondacks at night. So you'll find us at spacecom covering the solar eclipse.

I would point out, you know, in addition to sending us your stories, dear listeners, here at this Week in Space, if you do catch a nice photo or have a great story about the eclipse to share, you can share it with us at spacecom by emailing me at teamalec at spacecom.

You can find my stuff easily on the website or space photos. That's all one word S-P-A-C-E-P-H-O-T-O-S at spacecom as well, and we'd love to hear what your experience is like, because we don't get these very often, as you just heard Joe say, and we mic because we don't get these very often, as you just heard Joe say, and we want to celebrate as much as we can as we get ready for the next one and, if time allows, if time allows, I will try to play the fortnight lantern fest challenges this weekend because it celebrates Ramadan and I'm really excited because Ramadan ends as this solar eclipse ends and Eid will come on on April 9th to mark the start of the new lunar month, and so there's a lot of extra symbolism for this eclipse, so we didn't get to touch too much on, but I'll be calling my family to celebrate Eid too, right after.

01:03:43 - Rod Pyle (Host)

Well for me much less personal information, but you can find me at pilebookscom or at astromagazinecom, where there will be absolutely nothing about the eclipse and, um, I'm not going to tell you who I'm going to be seeing it with or what I'll be doing. Please remember to drop us a line at twist at twittv. That's twis at twittv, and you can also, if you want to send us uh, that that's where you'd send us your eclipse tales. We welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas. As always, we love getting your comments.

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