Dabbling with Dobots in DallasDecember 19, 2023
Monthly Newsletter – January 2024January 11, 2024
Hello again everyone – and Happy New Year! With 2024 upon us, I’m here to remind you to mark your calendars for April 8th, for an event of cosmic proportions.
On April 8, 2024, the Moon will position itself between Earth and the Sun. As the Earth, Moon, and Sun align, the Moon will almost perfectly occult the Sun, casting its shadow on our planet and providing an absolute feast for the eyes in the sky. I’m of course talking about the 2024 total solar eclipse. And if you have never seen a total solar eclipse in person before, I highly recommend you catch it this year.
The path of totality of the 2024 eclipse will be crossing right through the heartland of the U.S., which is especially great for the STEM Education Works team here in Lafayette, Indiana. (Our local school corporation was even nice enough to cancel school for the event!) But Lafayette will only see a partial solar eclipse; to see the total solar eclipse (also known as “totality”), we will need to travel an hour or two down to the Indianapolis area, or better yet, further south to the Bloomington area. “But Dr. Jake,” you might be asking, “is a couple of minutes of totality really worth a two-hour drive?” Trust me, it is. I like to tell people that the difference between a partial solar eclipse and a total solar eclipse is, quite literally, night and day.
I had the opportunity to see my first total solar eclipse back in August of 2017. I was in grad school at the time and a group of friends and I drove down to Tennessee to set up camp in a giant hay field just outside of Nashville. A few minutes before the eclipse, the colors around us appeared to be strangely muted, almost as if someone was tweaking the color contrast knob of reality. And then, “BAM!” It was like something out of a Viking movie. There’s nothing quite like a total solar eclipse to make you truly realize that we are living on a big rock floating through space. With other big rocks and a star floating around us too. It’s the kind of thing that jolts you awake and snaps you out of the normality of everyday life.
For more info on the 2024 total solar eclipse, check out this great website that I came across during my research. Just for good measure, again, don’t forget to mark your calendars for April 8th. Until next time.
– Dr. Jake Roark