Aurora Expeditions has enlisted NASA astronomer Dr Michelle Thaller and NASA Engineer Dr Andrew Booth as special guests for the expedition company’s total solar eclipse voyage in December 2021.
Assistant Director for Science Communication at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, Dr Michelle Thaller will act as the main lecturer for the voyage. Dr Thaller will conduct a series of talks together with Dr Booth on the solar eclipse, Antarctica and general astronomy in the staggering surroundings of Antarctica.
Travellers on this voyage will be part of a once-in-a-lifetime event as the full eclipse will only be visible from Antarctica. Taking place in the early hours of 4 December, 2021, Aurora Expeditions’ soon-to-be-launched polar-class ship, the Greg Mortimer, will be in prime viewing position to see the moon transition in front of the sun, shrouding the white Antarctic wilderness in a surreal darkness.
The 22-day total Solar Eclipse in Antarctica voyage departs Ushuaia, Argentina on 24 November 2021 and includes planned visits to the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula, Elephant Island, South Georgia and the Falklands-Malvinas. *In true expedition style, itineraries are always subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.
About Dr Michelle Thaller
Dr. Michelle Thaller is an astronomer, science communicator and long-time eclipse enthusiast. She has degrees in astrophysics from Harvard and Georgia State University and began working for NASA in 1998 during a post-doctoral research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. After 12 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she moved to NASA’s largest base in 2009, the Goddard Space Flight Centre, and has recently returned there after three years at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
About Dr Andrew Booth
Dr Booth graduated from Oxford University in 1982 with a doctorate in Astrophysics, with a focus on the fundamental properties of stars, including the properties of atoms for interpreting stellar spectra. He moved to Sydney University in 1988 as a professor in Astronomy and was part of the team building the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer, used for measuring the sizes of stars.
Dr Booth is currently one of the lead engineers on the WFIRST mission, which is a NASA observatory designed to unravel the secrets of dark energy and dark matter, and search for exoplanets. WFIRST will have a panoramic field of view of the universe that is 100 times wider than the Hubble Space Telescope.
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