Apr 5, 2024 - News

The Science Guy's solar savviness

Bill Nye looking towards the sky, wearing eclipse glasses.

Bill Nye, sporting a pair of eclipse glasses. Photo: Courtesy of The Planetary Society

Bill Nye — yes, "The Science Guy" — will head to Central Texas this weekend as part of The Planetary Society's two-day camping festival in Fredericksburg for Monday's total solar eclipse.

What's happening: Nye, the group's CEO, spoke to us ahead of the family-friendly cosmic camping adventure about what he's learned from watching other total solar eclipses.

Zoom in: Fredericksburg, about an hour north of San Antonio, is expected to experience 4 minutes and 24 seconds of darkness, among the longest in the country.

Here are Nye's tips for a spectacular solar eclipse:

👂🏻 Stop and listen: "When it really goes completely dark it's just amazing. The birds chirp, the crickets cricket. There's usually a bit of a breeze because the ground gets cool and then that cold air is squeezing the warm air up."

🤳🏼 Skip the selfie: "Try to be in the moment. Do not focus — pun intended — on taking pictures. Try to just really be there. It's cool."

👀 Look around: "And then if you have the presence of mind, don't just look up at the sky in the darkness. Look around. Just look at what everybody else is doing. And of course, listen and feel the breeze."

👥 Enjoy it with friends: "You want to share the experience. That's why we go to the football games instead of just watching it by ourselves on our phones."

🌘 Make a pinhole viewer: Nye recommends making a pinhole viewer, or just "take your fingers and interlace them and look at the ground just for a moment."

🚗 Take a road trip: "Be careful out there, but it is worth it. Pack a lunch, go to the washroom before you leave, but go out there and enjoy the thing."

More of Nye's tips


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