Monday is sun day.
All eyes will be on the skies for the Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday afternoon.
But later that night, people can also take in the cosmic spectacle on NOVA’s “Eclipse Over America” (PBS, 9 p.m.).
“It’s our most ambitious and extensive fast-turnaround film ever,” senior producer Chris Schmidt tells the Daily News. “We’ve done lots of specials about space. But this one is our tightest deadline.”
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Chronicling the first total solar eclipse in the United States since 1979 — and the first to cross the U.S. since 1918 — is also a massive, carefully orchestrated team effort.
NOVA will station film crews in Casper, Wyo., Salem, Ore., NASA’s Ellington Airfield in Houston and Irwin, Idaho.
Participating experts include American astronomer Jay Pasachoff, who teaches at Williams College. He has witnessed and studied 65 solar eclipses all over the world and calls them a “primeval thrill.”
“It’s just tremendously exciting to be outside while the Universe darkens all around you,” Pasachoff noted in a statement. He’ll be in Salem during the eclipse.
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PBS stations are planning to send their own footage of the eclipse for the special.
Even if the weather is lousy on Monday and puts a damper on the fresh footage that’s available, NOVA has it covered. They’ve already put together nearly an hour of content about the history and science of solar eclipses.
“We’ve been working on this and anticipating the eclipse for a long time,” says Schmidt, who likens the solar event to giving birth. “Now it’s time to paint the baby’s bedroom.”
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