Wednesday, May 29, 2024

NASA ambassador visits Gatesville during eclipse


NASA Solar System Ambassador Liam Finn and his team will be present in Gatesville for the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8.

Cheri Shepherd, Gatesville’s Special Events Coordinator, commented, “We are thrilled to have Liam and his team in Gatesville as a part of our community celebration over the weekend and observation on Monday.”

On Saturday, April 6, Finn and his team of ambassadors will provide a sold-out educational presentation called Syzygy at 6 p.m. in the Gatesville City Auditorium. According to Shepherd, “All 500 of the free tickets to this Saturday presentation have been claimed, but you still have a couple of ways to hear him speak. Ticket holders will be instructed to be at the city auditorium by 5:45 p.m. on Saturday evening. Shortly before the 6 p.m. presentation, we will release any unclaimed seats to the public, first come/first served.”

Those attending Finn’s presentation will learn about the different types of solar eclipses, annular eclipses, and partial eclipses. He will discuss the unique features of each type and what to expect to see during each. Finn will also examine how modern science has advanced our understanding of these celestial events and provide tips and advice for viewing solar eclipses safely and effectively.

“Whether you are an experienced skywatcher or a newcomer to astronomy, this presentation on Syzygy and the upcoming American solar eclipse promises to be an informative and exciting journey into the cosmos to prepare you for the event on April 8th,” Shepherd said.

Liam Finn is originally from Ireland and now resides in Michigan. He is the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador, Vice President of the Great Lakes Association of Astronomy Clubs, the Planetarian at Henry Ford College, and an avid astronomer.

Finn is passionate about STEM outreach and enjoys explaining the workings of the cosmos. While you can still find Liam Finn looking through telescopes, these days he wants to know more about how things work. He does numerous outreach events and talks both under the night sky and indoors with NASA/JPL, his local astronomy club, local colleges, and universities.

For more than 25 years, the NASA Solar System Ambassadors program has been a public engagement effort that works with motivated volunteers across the nation to communicate the science and excitement of NASA’s space exploration missions and discoveries with the people in their communities.

Today, the Solar System Ambassadors program has more than 1,100 dedicated volunteers, reaching more than 11 million people through both live and online events in their communities.

For those unable to attend Finn’s educational talk at the city auditorium, they can see him on the day of the eclipse with his team who plan to set up viewing equipment (including telescopes, special cameras, and projection equipment) at the City of Gatesville Sports Complex where they will collect data for NASA.