HC101H - Syzygy: The History and Science of Eclipse

Professor: Jesse Feddersen

4.00 credits

CRN 12221: Monday & Wednesday, 2:00-3:20pm @ CHA 301

CRN 12235: Monday & Wednesday, 4:00-5:20pm @ ANS 193

In William Shakespeare's King Lear, the Earl of Gloucester bemoans: "These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us." In December 1870, the astronomer Jules Janssen escaped the Siege of Paris aboard a balloon to view a total solar eclipse. On Saturday, October 14, 2023, the Moon will pass between Earth and the Sun, casting its shadow on Eugene! In this class, you will learn about our place in the solar system, read accounts of early eclipse hunters, and study the science of exoplanetary eclipses. You will consider the eclipse both as a bad omen portending doom and as a unique scientific opportunity to discover normally hidden truths about the Sun and beyond. On October 14, we’ll meet and observe the actual solar eclipse from Eugene. You will have the opportunity to help members of the public safely engage with the eclipse and may participate in a citizen science project.