A 2017 eclipse listening guide

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Thursday, June 23, 2016

Astronomy magazine Contributing Editor Mike Reynolds photographed the Sun's corona during totality of the 2012 total solar eclipse from Australia. // Mike Reynolds
Darkness at midday is coming. With less than 425 days to go before the total solar eclipse that will cross the U.S. on August 21, 2017, things are kicking into high gear. This event’s popularity will dwarf anything any of us have ever worked on.

So, I’m writing stories about the eclipse for the magazine, I’ve given more than two dozen talks about it, and I’m hosting what might become the largest single science event in history in St. Joseph, Missouri. (Read all about it here.) What else could I do?

That’s the question I asked my friend, Tom Tancredi, more than a year ago. Tom and his brother, Dominic, co-founded a successful company in Chicago that develops innovative digital and web-based products for a variety of corporations. His response: “You gotta start podcasting.”

I knew nothing about podcasting, so Tom walked me through a few basics. “Don’t make them too long,” he said, “establish a regular posting interval, and let your passion come through.” He added, “You might even be the first one.” He then suggested some software. Before I knew it, I had recorded my first podcast, which I quickly deleted. Then I did it again. Much better.

And, indeed, mine was the first. Skip forward more than a year. Last week, I posted my 70th episode. And the “2017 Total Solar Eclipse Podcast” is still the only one that deals with the upcoming eclipse. You can find it online here. It’s free.

When I began, I committed to a weekly schedule of podcasting, and now I’m a bit more than halfway to the event. Give it a listen. I hope you’ll consider subscribing to it. (Again, it’s free.) If you do, please avail yourself of the “Ratings and Reviews” section. Send your suggestions for improvement, ideas for future podcasts, and even corrections and critiques.

And be sure you experience totality. You’ll remember it as one of the great events in your life as long as you live.

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