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Meet the eclipse chaser who’s traveled the world hunting shadows


OurtimeBD.com
20.08.2017

Sabah Mannan

Since the early 1970s, Astronomer Glenn Schneider has chased solar eclipses around the world. He spoke to BBC World Service, ahead of Monday’s total solar eclipse across North America, about what drives him. He said that it’s an incredible feeling to be at the nexus of the Sun, Moon and Earth and see celestial mechanics working.Glenn’s first total solar eclipse was in 1970 and he was completely unprepared for it.“Every eclipse is my favorite eclipse as it’s occurring it always number one, every eclipse is unique and spectacular”. Glenn missed one in Antarctica in 1985 because it was too early in the season to get an ice breaker through and impossible to get an aircraft in. “It was horrible missing an eclipse that nobody saw”- he said.The most challenging and technically difficult eclipse Glenn ever saw was in the year 1986 that he had to take an aircraft out of Iceland between the straits in Greenland and Iceland to see, where the Moon’s shadow was less than a kilometer wide and moving at 6000 km/h and it was like hitting a bullet with a bullet to get it with an airplane. He was lucky to see it.What would be Glenn’s perfect eclipse? Perfectly clear skies with any worry about clouds, number one. Clouds are the nemesis and he worries right up until the moment of totality.Does Glenn’s family share his passion? “I think they accept my passion. I’ve had members of my family travel with me, my wife, my daughter, my parents, and in fact my daughter’s coming with me on the eclipse that’s coming up”.Glenn said that it’s a real opportunity being here in the United States without people having to travel all the way across the globe to get there, which is sometimes not an easy thing to do.


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