Total Solar Eclipses

Jack Singal

Physics professor Jack Singal, an astrophysicist who has worked at NASA, is available to discuss the total solar eclipse, which will cross North America on April 8, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Singal has seen annular and partial solar eclipses. He has been quoted in various media outlets, including USA Today, The Washington Post, ABC News, and Gizmodo.

Singal can discuss why a total eclipse occurs, why it’s so special, and how to safely view it. Learn more in this FAQ:

  • What’s a total eclipse and why is it special?
    In April, we will have a total solar eclipse, which means the moon is completely blocking the sun from the perspective of one small area on Earth. A total eclipse is special because they don't happen that often, and they're often not visible over such a wide range of populated areas. It's rare for the for the moon's orbit to align such that it's completely blocking the sun from some point on earth, and rarer still for that to be over the continental US.

  • Where can I view the total eclipse?
    You have to be in the pretty narrow band where the moon completely blocks the sun from the perspective on the ground to see the total eclipse, and people are already getting excited. It draws people in. They travel to these areas where they can spot the solar eclipse. But then you also have to consider the weather – will it be a clear day, or cloudy, at the place where you try to view it?
    Note: NASA has a good resource listing where the eclipse will be visible from weather-permitting.

  • What’s the draw?
    There are three main reasons people are interested in seeing a total solar eclipse. First, it’s rare, so the opportunity to see one doesn’t come along very often. Two, it’s a very interesting thing to witness when it gets very dark in the daytime. And three, during a total eclipse, we're able to see the outer layers of the sun that we usually can't because the rest of the sun is just so bright. A total eclipse creates an ambiance of bizarre lighting that is just not available in other circumstances.

  • How can I safely view an eclipse?
    In order to look at the Sun at any time, you must protect your eyes with special glasses that block ultraviolet light, such as specific solar-observing eyewear.

To connect with Singal contact Sunni Brown, director of media and public relations, at