Tuesday 18 June 2019

Aurora Expeditions takes NASA scientists on 2021 Antarctic solar eclipse voyage

#expeditioncruising .

Aurora Expeditions has today announced 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 Andrew Booth on the solar eclipse, Antarctica and general astronomy in the staggering surroundings of Antarctica.

Witnessing a solar eclipse from Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime event. 

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 December 4, 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 surreal darkness.

“The extreme environment of Antarctica is used by NASA to simulate places as far away as Mars and the moons of Jupiter, and we promise to take the passengers along for a scientific journey they’ll never forget,” said Dr Thaller. Her husband and NASA Engineer Dr Andrew Booth continues:

“At this moment in history, world-class science is converging in Antarctica. From the changing ice of our planet, to extreme environments that simulate extra-terrestrial worlds, to observatories buried under the ice to detect the deaths of stars millions of years ago, to long dark nights that allow astronomers to peer to the edge of the known universe, Antarctica is where it's all happening now.”

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. 
  • Dr Thaller has hosted several television shows, including The Universe on the History Channel, The Known Universe on Nat Geo TV, and currently, How the Universe Works and Space's Deepest Secrets, both on the Discovery Science Channel. 
  • Dr Thaller also hosts the Orbital Path Podcast from Public Radio Exchange and contributes blogs and articles to many popular science publications and websites.
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.
  • In 1998 he moved to JPL in Pasadena California to work on the Keck Interferometer project in Hawaii for NASA, linking the world’s two largest telescopes into a single instrument. After moving to GSFC in Maryland in 2010, he worked on the James Webb Space Telescope, the Laser Communication Relay Demonstration mission which is a space telescope that is planned to be the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope
  • 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.
  • 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.

For more information, contact your preferred wholesaler or Aurora Expeditions: 1800 637 688, +61 (0)2 9252 1033 or agents@auroraexpeditions.com.au

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