14 March 2024

New Resources Available for Coverage of the Upcoming 2024 Solar Eclipse

Looking to share more about the upcoming 2024 eclipse across North America than the standard what, when, and where of how to observe it? A new collection from the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (BAAS) pulls together dozens of articles documenting events, experiences, and engagements associated with the upcoming 2024 eclipse and the earlier 2023 annular eclipse. “Celebrating the Wonder of Science in the Shadow” features articles addressing myriad topics, including: problems faced by small towns along the path, creative ways to safely engage the public in viewing the Sun, and narratives about how members of the public have contributed to science in the past and can do so again in the future. There is even a test for general relativity on the list of things that can get done during the eclipse.

This special issue has been made free thanks to support from the American Astronomical Society and was produced as a completely volunteer effort. All authors were able to submit their work at no monetary cost; volunteers edited, peer-reviewed, and laid out the content; and everything is available for free online.

In putting together this collection, lead editor Dr. Sanlyn Buxner wanted to ensure the articles collected were as representative of the community of astronomy enthusiasts as possible. This meant not just seeking the perspectives of professional scientists and educators, but also diving into the nuts and bolts of what preparing for an eclipse was like for city planners, national parks, and even a DIY scientist observing from home. According to Buxner, “We were (and are) interested in everyone telling their own eclipse story, glamorous or not. We want individuals to be able to document their experience, images, and scientific findings, as well as share their excitement and help the larger community prepare for the next big event with their great ideas and lessons learned.”

screenshot of a web page for the BAAS special eclipse issue

We are currently just weeks away from the 8 April 2024 total solar eclipse, which will be visible as either a total or partial eclipse for all of North America. Particularly timely in the BAAS special issue are articles related to safe viewing of the eclipse, lessons learned from previous events, and scientific activities that can be conducted by viewers during the eclipse. Some top picks from the editorial team include an article discussing how disco balls can be used to safely display partial phases of the eclipse on walls and other surfaces, and an article on how the public can engage in the eclipse with their ears through the NASA Eclipse Soundscapes project.

“For any particular place on the Earth, eclipses are rare. There is still a lot of research waiting to be done by people lucky enough to be within the shadow of an eclipse,” says editorial team member Dr. Pamela Gay. “From studying how life on Earth is affected by eclipses to testing Einstein’s general theory of relativity, there are still ways people in the right place with the right equipment can help us understand our universe better.”

While Sir Arthur Eddington was able to confirm general relativity during a 1919 eclipse of the Sun, additional work to verify details of how gravity bends light still remains to be done. During the upcoming eclipse, observers will be attempting to image stars at a variety of distances from the edge of the Sun to confirm every last detail predicted by theory. An article on work done during the 2017 eclipse highlights why this experiment is needed in 2024.

Following the 2024 total solar eclipse, work will begin on a sequel publication to Celebrating the Wonder of Science in the Shadow. “We are excited to solicit even more submissions from the community as we celebrate the 2024 eclipse and the ones before, archiving this amazing nationwide community experience,” explains Buxner. Articles accepted to this future sequel issue will record the history made during the eclipse and inform future audiences looking to prepare for their own total eclipse experience.


Sanlyn Buxner
Special Issue Lead Editor; Planetary Science Institute and the University of Arizona
Pamela Gay
Special Issue Editor; Planetary Science Institute
Susanna Kohler, Editor, AAS Nova
Susanna Kohler
AAS Communications Manager & Press Officer
+1 202-328-2010 x127



Screenshot of a free-to-read special issue of the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, “Celebrating the Wonder of Science in the Shadow.”

About the AAS

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is a major international organization of professional astronomers, astronomy educators, and amateur astronomers. Its membership of approximately 8,000 also includes physicists, geologists, engineers, and others whose interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community, which it achieves through publishing, meetings, science advocacy, education and outreach, and training and professional development.