10.00am Friday 2nd February 2024

Mike Frost FRAS, FIET is the director of the historical section of the British Astronomical Association (BAA). His day job is systems engineering in the steel industry, but astronomy has always been a central part of his life. He has an M.Sc in astronomy, is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a founder member of the Society for the History of Astronomy, and has been a BAA member for 28 years and a council member for 13 years. He enjoys travel to view astronomical events such as aurorae and meteor showers, but his absolute favourite spectacle will always be total solar eclipses, of which he has so far seen fourteen. He was delighted to be invited to take part in the Eclipse & Revelation project to investigate solar eclipses in science, literature, history and the arts.

Eclipses and revelations

Total solar eclipses are perhaps the most spectacular predictable astronomical phenomenon it is possible to witness. We are currently in a series of total eclipses across tourist-friendly parts of the world, including two across Europe and one across North America, so I hope that Astrofest attendees who haven’t yet seen one will get the chance to find out for themselves what all the fuss is about. Eclipses have inspired artists, writers and musicians throughout recorded history, whilst the scientific study of solar eclipses has allowed us to understand the structure of the Sun, as well as providing insights into meteorology and animal behaviour. Eclipse & Revelation is a multi-disciplinary project to investigate solar eclipses from as many different academic disciplines as possible.

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