The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017

In a little more than a week, a major astronomical event will be coming to America. I've never experienced a solar eclipse before. I'm not entirely sure what to expect. Based on the words and experiences of others, it's something that cannot be accurately described--a monumental, life-impacting thing to witness.

My family and I will be heading south to Missouri, a state I've only ever driven through briefly, in order to witness the totality. I can only imagine the emotions I will feel as the moon blocks out the sun for a brief moment, altering and confusing the world around us. I cannot wait to see the reactions of my children as they witness the event alongside us. I imagine this event will feel to me like the first time I managed to find Saturn in my telescope. The raw emotion of looking upon something so profound with my own eyes, millions of miles away, was indescribable.

My hope is that this eclipse ignites the wonder in all of us, reminds us that we're all just a microscopic part of this Universe. My hope is that it reminds us that we are all one people, sharing this tiny blue marble of a world together. There is no room for hate. My hope is that we renew our quest for space and distant worlds, that our thirst for science and understanding deepens and that we turn from instruments of war and destruction to instruments that will propel us into space and across the light years, to find other homes.

So many young people will witness this event. I hope they truly understand its significance. I'm not even sure that I truly understand the significance, but soon, I know that I will.

More to come.


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