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The Trailblazer

VU to host NASA expert on Solar Eclipse

Two shows set for today at the Red

Students will have the opportunity today to hear from one of the nation’s leading experts on the upcoming Solar Eclipse.


The university will welcome retired NASA astrophysicist and eclipse expert Fred Espenak to the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center for two shows. The first will be at 11 a.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m.


Espenak’s presentation, “Experiencing Totality – The Great Total Eclipse of 2024,” will officially kick of the university’s own series of events called “Total Eclipse of the Heartland.”



Espenak is known as “Mr. Eclipse” and is one of the top eclipse experts in the country. He will discuss what it is like to experience a total eclipse of the sun and will share eyewitness accounts of totality from great astronomers of the past. Espenak will also highlight maps and weather prospects along the eclipse path.


Both events are free and open to the public.


The evening event will include musicians from the IU School of Music performing in the lobby of the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center, 20 W. Red Skelton Blvd. They will also join the Amplified Music Project and VU’s bandmaster, Susie Jackson, to perform “The Final Countdown” on stage.


Also in conjunction with Espenak’s presentation, the adjacent Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy will be offering free admission between the two shows.

The museum recently unveiled a new exhibit, “The Lunacy of Red Skelton and Launch to Laughter,” which showcases space mission photos from nearly a dozen different missions personally autographed to Red, as well as personal correspondence from astronauts.

It also features clips and artifacts from some of the sketches about space exploration in the early 1960’s from the Red Skelton Show.

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