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Media Invited to June 21 Science, Safety Briefings on August Total Solar Eclipse

mage of the moon crossing in front of the sun was captured on Jan. 30, 2014, by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory
This image of the moon crossing in front of the sun was captured on Jan. 30, 2014, by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory observing an eclipse from its vantage point in space. Credits: NASA

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire nation Aug. 21. Representatives from NASA, other federal agencies, and science organizations, will provide important viewing safety, travel and science information during two briefings at the Newseum in Washington starting at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, June 21.

The event will air live on NASA Television and stream on the agency’s website.

Over the course of 100 minutes, 14 states across the United States will experience more than two minutes of darkness in the middle of the day. Additionally, a partial eclipse will be viewable across all of North America. The eclipse will provide a unique opportunity to study the sun, Earth, moon and their interaction because of the eclipse’s long path over land coast to coast. Scientists will be able to take ground-based and airborne observations over a period of an hour and a half to complement the wealth of data and images provided by space assets.

The June 21 briefings are:

Logistics Briefing: 1 to 2 p.m.

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington
  • Vanessa Griffin, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Satellite and Product Operations in Suitland, Maryland
  • Brian Carlstrom, deputy associate director of Natural Resource Stewardship and Science at the National Park Service in Washington
  • Martin Knopp, associate administrator of the Office of Operations in the Federal Highway Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington

Science Briefing: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

  • Thomas Zurbuchen
  • Angela Des Jardins, principal investigator of the Eclipse Ballooning Project at Montana State University, Bozeman
  • Angela Speck, professor of astrophysics and director of astronomy at the University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Dave Boboltz, program director of solar physics in the Division of Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia
  • Linda Shore, executive director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Francisco
  • Matt Penn, astronomer at the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona

The panels will take questions from media participating in person and by phone. Reporters participating via telephone must send an email providing their name, affiliation and telephone number to Steve Cole at by noon June 21. The public also can ask questions via social media during the briefings using #eclipse2017.

The briefings will be held in the Knight Studio at the Newseum, located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Space is limited. Media planning on attending must RSVP no later than 9 a.m. June 21 with Andrew Schurr at 202-358-0690 or and provide their media affiliation.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:

For more information on the eclipse, and how to safely view it, visit:


Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
Karen Fox
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.