On August 21, 2017, the moon’s shadow will sweep across North America. For the first time since 1979, the moon will completely hide the Sun over the United States. It will be The Day the Sun Disappears. The excitement in advance of this event will escalate exponentially with both amateur astronomers and the general public getting involved. The eclipse will be a national and international news story. The 2017 EXPO will focus on this huge astronomical event with speakers, vendors and our keynote speaker: Mr. Eclipse.
Mr. Eclipse is, of course, Dr. Fred Espenak, retired after 30 years as NASA astrophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center, now maintains NASA’s eclipse website at eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov. As a sought-after author, speaker, eclipse-chaser, photographer, and eclipse expert, Dr. Espenak will bring us the latest and best experiencing the upcoming 2017 solar eclipse. You can also check out his personal website at mreclipse.com.
Modified from his website –
Fred became interested in astronomy when he was 7–8 years old, and had his first telescope when he was around 9–10 years old. Espenak earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from, Wagner College, where he worked in the planetarium. His master’s degree is from the University of Toledo, based on studies he did at Kitt Peak Observatory of eruptive and flare stars among red dwarfs.
He was employed at Goddard Space Flight Center, where he used infrared spectrometers to measure the atmosphere of planets in the .Solar System. He provided NASA’s eclipse bulletins since 1978. He is the author of several canonical works on eclipse predictions, such as the Fifty Year Canon of Solar Eclipses: 1986–2035 and Fifty Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses: 1986–2035, both of which are standard references on eclipses. The first eclipse he saw was the solar eclipse of March 7, 1970, which sparked his interest in eclipses, and he has since seen over 20 eclipses. He is co-author with Jean Meeus of Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses, which covers all types of solar eclipses (partial, total, annular, or hybrid) from 2000 BC to AD 3000. He is also a co-author of “Totality: Eclipses of the Sun”.
He was also the co-investigator of an atmospheric experiment flown on Space Shuttle Discovery.
Astronomical photographs taken by Espenak have been published in the National Geographic, Newsweek, Nature, New Scientist and Ceil et Espace.
Fred retired in 2009. Asteroid 14120 Espenak was named in his honor in 2003.