Media Advisory: Experts Available to Comment on Once-in-a-Lifetime Total Solar Eclipse

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

DURHAM, N.H.–Grab some eclipse glasses and pick a place on the map to experience a unique opportunity to view a total solar eclipse of the sun that will pass across the United States, from coast to coast, on Monday, April 8, 2024. Solar eclipses often happen over oceans or hard to access areas but this one will offer a number of chances to catch a glimpse, including in several New England states like New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The spring eclipse will be a total solar event meaning that the moon will completely block the sun and the sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. There won’t be another chance to view a total eclipse like this over North America for decades.

The University of New Hampshire has two astronomy experts who can talk about this once-in-a-lifetime event and topics like why an eclipse happens, the importance to never look directly at the sun during an eclipse, what the “line of totality” means and what are some tips and tricks for the best viewing experience.

John Gianforte, director of UNH’s observatory and Extension associate professor of space science education

Always with an eye to the sky, Gianforte is passionate about the moon, the sun and the stars. John teaches astronomy and physics and his field of study is the characterization of exoplanetary systems. His work includes observing and recording transits of exoplanets as they pass in front of their parent stars. An expert on viewing solar eclipses, he is a frequent guest on the Weather Channel and has traveled around the world to experience some of the most breathtaking solar eclipses.  

Gianforte can be reached directly at or (603) 862-2829.

Amy Keesee, associate professor of physics and astronomy

An expert in space sciences, Keesee’s research centers around charged particles in space that are energized and transported due to energy from the sun. Those particles can wreak havoc on satellite communications, like GPS and national security systems, along with power grids that are important to our everyday lives. Her work looks to understand and hopefully forecast any issues to help provide a warning system to protect these technology systems. Keesee is passionate about anything related to the sun and is an expert on solar eclipses and why they happen.

Keesee can be reached directly at or (603) 862-4316.

For more information on the total solar eclipse, log on to:

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