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Path to Totality: Your guide to solar eclipse science, safety and more

Vermont Public's half-hour educational TV special, hosted by Jane Lindholm, will help you prepare for the April 8 solar eclipse no matter where you're watching from.

Around the country, people are deep in preparations for a total solar eclipse on April 8.

The concept is simple. The moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking out the sun's light. But the experience of witnessing a total solar eclipse can be so much more.

"It's one of those mysterious things, because very few of us ever see one," says Mark Breen, the planetarium director at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury.

This year's eclipse is unique in that it will pass over so many American cities, says David Hockey, professor of astronomy at the University of Northern Iowa. "More people will see this eclipse than perhaps ever before."

In a new half-hour TV special from Vermont Public, learn more about the rare celestial event that's being called "The Great American Eclipse."

  • Mark Breen discusses the astronomical science behind solar eclipses, describing why these events are so rare.
  • Martina Arndt, a physics professor at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, has visited 12 eclipse sites. She describes how scientists collect data during eclipses to better understand our sun.
  • Host Jane Lindholm gives tips for avoiding eye damage when viewing the eclipse — and visits a Winooski elementary school to demonstrate how to build a pinhole viewer.
  • Reporter Lexi Krupp visits a church in Burlington that organized a homestay program to provide lodging to eclipse visitors and build community.
  • Rita Ciambria, a science teacher at Peoples Academy in Morrisville showcases the school's unique observatory.
  • Thomas Hockey, author of America's First Eclipse Chasers, explores the history of eclipse observation.

"Eclipse 2024: Path to Totality" premieres on Vermont Public's main TV channel on Wednesday, March 27, at 8 p.m., and is available now on demand.

More eclipse resources

See all of Vermont Public's 2024 eclipse coverage.

Corrected: March 26, 2024 at 5:24 PM EDT
A earlier version of this story misspelled Rita Ciambra's last name.