Public Lecture – “Solar Eclipses: the Dread and the Fascination”

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Public Lecture – “Solar Eclipses: the Dread and the Fascination”

August 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


A free public lecture by Dr. Sarbani Basu, solar physicist and chair of the Yale Department of Astronomy.

Abstract: There is an almost five thousand year history of solar eclipses. The occurrence of solar eclipses, with the day turning dark, have been hailed as portents of the future. Much later, eclipses began to be used to study the outer layers of the Sun. A solar eclipse was also used as a means to carry out one of the first tests of General Relativity. Even today eclipses fascinate people, and although we can create eclipses within a telescope (using a coronagraph), scientists still flock to eclipse sites. The eclipse on August 21 will be visible over a large part of the US and many people — tourists, educators, and scientists — are trying their best to be where the total eclipse will be visible. This makes this a good occasion to look back to other eclipses and put the upcoming one in context. This talk will therefore explore the history of solar eclipses and make a tally of what humankind has learned from them.

This event will be held on the USC campus at the W.W. Hootie Johnson Performance Hall (Room #101) in the Darla Moore School of Business (1014 Greene Street) and will be free and open to the public. Reservations are not needed, but seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Dr. Basu’s presentation will be given at a level that is accessible to a broad public audience.

Further details regarding the total eclipse public lecture can be found at


August 18
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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To view events in the Midlands happening before the Total Eclipse Weekend, visit our Pre-Eclipse Weekend Events page.