A wonderful accident has placed our moon at just the right distance from the Earth so that when it gets between the Sun and the Earth we perceive the moon as completely blocking out the Sun. Total eclipses have been considered omens of great events since our earliest ancestors. In 1919, Sir Arthur Thomas Eddington performed an experiment during a total eclipse that provided the first test of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. (It passed.)

This year, on August 21, many of us in North America have the chance to experience what could be a “once in a lifetime” event. I’m joining my family and about 15,000 other folks at the University of Southern Illinois, where we’ll celebrate the event together in Saluki Stadium. If you happen to be going to the same “eclipse party,” let me know and we’ll try and find each other.

I’ll write more of my experience after the event. I’m looking forward to a powerful social learning experience that will help my brain sync up with many others as we gaze in wonder at one of the most exciting things that a person on this planet can experience.