This Week in Space

Apr 5th 2024

This Week in Space 105

Apoc-eclipse 2024!

Hosted by Rod Pyle, Tariq Malik

With Astronomer Joe Rao

New episodes posted every Friday.
Guests: Joe Rao
Category: News

Unless you've been living under a rock or in Barstow, you probably know all about the solar eclipse on Monday. Rod will be going to Austin, likely to be staring at ever-darkening clouds, and Tariq will be headed to the eclipse path in the Northeast. Where will you be? On today's episode, we're talking to astronomer and meteorologist Joe Rao about the solar eclipse of 2024--what is it, where the moon's shadow cross Earth, how can you maximize what you see (or don't see), and how to view partial phases safely. This last bit is important, and we're going to give you an earful about "solar safety"--the effects of improper viewing can be catastrophic. And, of course, Rod's bringing a terrible eclipse-oriented space joke! Join us.


  • Chinese Space Debris Sighting: China’s Shenzhou-15 crew capsule’s orbital module made an uncontrolled reentry, lighting up the skies over California without prior warning.
  • Space Junk Hits a Florida Home: A story of a mysterious cylinder, believed to be part of a NASA battery pallet jettisoned from the ISS, crashing through a Florida man’s home, illustrating the unpredictable nature of space debris re-entry.

Main Topic: The Solar Eclipse of 2024

  • Introduction to Joe Rao: Introduction of Joe Rao, his background, and his excitement for the upcoming eclipse, his 14th total solar eclipse viewing.
  • Eclipse Overview: Joe provides an in-depth look at the upcoming solar eclipse, discussing its path across North America, from Mexico through the United States to Canada, and highlighting its significance compared to past eclipses.
  • Viewing Tips: Discussion on safe viewing practices, including the importance of using certified eclipse glasses and other methods to safely observe the eclipse without damaging one’s eyes.
  • Weather Considerations: Joe offers advice on how to choose the best viewing locations based on weather patterns and suggests resources for last-minute location adjustments to avoid cloud cover.
  • Personal Stories and Plans: Tariq shares his plans to view the eclipse with his family, emphasizing the personal significance and communal aspect of experiencing such a rare event.
  • Final Thoughts and Advice: The episode wraps up with Joe stressing the unparalleled experience of witnessing a total solar eclipse firsthand, urging listeners not to miss the opportunity to be in the path of totality.

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