Montana State University

World-renowned eclipse hunter to speak April 30 at MSU

April 14, 2010 -- MSU News Service


Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer who has observed 50 solar eclipses, will give the final lecture in the Astronomy Winter Lecture Series at Montana State University.    High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu
BOZEMAN -- A world-renowned astronomer who travels the globe to observe solar eclipses will give a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 30, at Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies.

Jay Pasachoff of Williams College will give the final lecture in the Astronomy Winter Lecture Series, speaking on "Observing Solar Eclipses." The lecture will be held in the museum's Hager Auditorium. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

At 4 p.m. the same day, Pasachoff will give a physics seminar in the Procrastinator Theater at MSU's Strand Union Building. The seminar -- free and open to the public -- will be followed by a reception in the Leigh Lounge.

Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Hopkins Observatory at Williams College in Massachusetts, has observed 50 solar eclipses so far. He saw his last one in January from India. His next will be July 11 from Easter Island.

Solar eclipses are the most spectacular celestial phenomena in which people on Earth can participate, Pasachoff said. In his lecture at the museum, Pasachoff will describe how the outer part of the sun shines and how his studies at the recent eclipses in Greece, Siberia and China have helped scientists understand the sun. He will discuss a partial eclipse that Bozeman area residents will see in two years on May 20 and a near-total eclipse that they'll observe on August 21, 2017.

Pasachoff received the Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society in 2003. He has been president of the Commission on Education and Development of the International Astronomical Union. He was elected this year as a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

Pasachoff's lecture in the Astronomy Winter Lecture Series is sponsored by MSU's College of Letters and Science, the Department of Physics, the Optical Technology Center, the Montana Space Grant Consortium, the Museum of the Rockies and the Southwest Montana Astronomical Society.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu