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Solar Eclipse Planning Workshop PosterOn 21 August 2017 the continental US experienced its first total solar eclipse (TSE) in a generation and the first to cross from coast to coast in a century. More Americans watched the eclipse than tuned in to any previous scientific, athletic, or entertainment event. From Oregon to South Carolina some 20 million people witnessed totality, or "darkness at midday," when the Moon completely covered the Sun's bright face. For more than 2 minutes, these lucky skygazers enjoyed a truly awesome sight: the diaphanous solar corona surrounding the jet-black silhouette of the Moon in a twilight-blue sky with pastel sunset colors all around the horizon.

In the five years leading up to the 2017 TSE, the American Astronomical Society's Solar Eclipse Task Force organized a series of annual workshops involving professional and amateur astronomers; formal and informal educators; representatives of tourism bureaus, Chambers of Commerce, and the hospitality industry; and officials from departments of transportation, state and national parks and forests, law-enforcement agencies, and emergency-management organizations. These workshops were instrumental in helping communities in the path of totality manage an influx of visitors; in developing and disseminating appropriate eye-safety information nationwide; and in coordinating the efforts of numerous scientific, educational, governmental, and other organizations to avoid unnecessary overlap. This planning paid off, as there were very few eye injuries and — aside from some massive traffic jams as people left their eclipse-viewing sites — almost no other problems.

On 8 April 2024, the US will be treated to another TSE. This time the Moon's dark shadow will pass from Texas to Maine rather than from coast to coast, but the path of totality will be wider and touch more big cities than in 2017. Moreover, just six months earlier, on 14 October 2023, the country will experience an annular solar eclipse (ASE), when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun but does not appear quite large enough to completely cover it, turning our daytime star into a thin "ring of fire."

Solar Eclipses in 2023 & 2024

Eclipse Planning Workshop, 8-9 June 2019, St. Louis, Missouri

Now is not too early to start planning for the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses, taking advantage of lessons learned from the 2017 event. Accordingly, the AAS Solar Eclipse Task Force is organizing what we expect will be the first in another series of annual planning workshops. It will be held in conjunction with the 234th AAS meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, 9-13 June 2019. The 1½-day workshop, Saturday-Sunday, 8-9 June, is aimed at community leaders and other stakeholders both inside the paths of annularity (2023) and/or totality (2024) and outside, for — as in 2017— the entire Lower 48 states will experience at least a deep partial eclipse. We are particularly keen to welcome participants from Canada and Mexico, as the October 2023 ASE and April 2024 TSE grace one or both of those countries too.

Invited speakers include event coordinators who experienced the 2017 TSE and will see darkness again in 2024 (e.g., southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois) as well as transportation experts and others who can present studies of the 2017 eclipse and offer recommendations for the upcoming events.

What: Solar Eclipse Planning Workshop

Where: St. Louis Union Station Hotel, 1820 Market St., St. Louis, MO 63103; Regency Ballroom C, 1st Floor

When: Saturday, 8 June 2019, 9:30 am − 4:30 pm, and Sunday, 9 June 2019, 10:00 am − 3:00 pm

Program: Download the PDF!

Registration: You have two options: (1) If you wish to attend the eclipse workshop as well as the 234th AAS meeting, use the AAS 234 Registration page to sign up and pay your $15 workshop registration fee as well as the appropriate AAS-meeting registration fee; (2) If you wish to attend only the workshop, use the PDF form linked below under RESOURCES to sign up and pay your $15 workshop registration fee. Attendance is limited to the first 100 people to sign up. Note: No cancellations or refunds will be accepted after 17 May 2019.

Register for AAS Meeting & Workshop    Register for Workshop Only via PDF

Travel & Lodging: Hotel rooms are available at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel

. See the AAS 234 Travel & Lodging page for details.

Recording: Although we will not be able to live-stream the workshop, we will record all sessions and post the videos on YouTube as soon thereafter as possible.

Useful Links:

  • EclipseWise — Predictions for, and general information on, solar and lunar eclipses by Fred Espenak.
  • Eclipsophile — Eclipse-related climate and weather information by Jay Anderson and Jennifer West.
  • Eclipses.info — The official IAU Working Group on Solar Eclipses website, maintained by Jay Pasachoff.
  • Great American Eclipse — Eclipse maps and information by Michael Zeiler.
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