Dr. Mike Reynolds

Dr. Mike Reynolds has forty years in astronomy and space sciences in the gamut of a high school and university instructor, planetarium and museum director, researcher, and college administrator. He has received numerous recognition for his work, including the 1986 Florida State Teacher of the Year, NASA Teacher-in-Space National Finalist, and the G. Bruce Blair Medal in Astronomy. Reynolds has written a number of astronomy books and articles, including service as an Astronomy magazine contributing editor. He has led numerous astronomical expeditions worldwide, and has also served as an invited speaker internationally at a variety of events, from book signings to lectures on meteorites, the science of science fiction, and general astronomy. He was an invited TED speaker, talking about The Universe is our Classroom. Reynolds has appeared on several Discovery Channel and National Geographic programs, such as Auction Kings.

Reynolds’ total solar eclipse chasing, starting with the March 7, 1970 total solar eclipse, has taken him to eighteen total solar eclipses, with some 53 minutes spent in totality “under the shadow.”

In honor of his popularization of astronomy and the space sciences, the International Astronomical Union honored Reynolds with the naming of asteroid 2004 SY26 “Michael Reynolds,” nominated by fellow astronomers David Levy and Tippy D’Auria.

Reynolds is currently is a Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College and the Executive Director Emeritus of the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California. He also is the Eclipse Coordinator for the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), and also currently serves as the Executive Director of the ALPO.

Topic of lecture at WSP 2016: The 2017 Great American Eclipse and Challenger: a look back thirty years ago.

Eclipse topic

The path of the 21 August 2017 total solar eclipse will pass over the continental United States, the shadow first touching shore in Oregon and traveling east-southeast, finally passing out to sea in South Carolina near Charleston. This eclipse passes only on land over the United States, and is the first total solar eclipse to be visible in the U.S. since the 26 February 1979 total solar eclipse.

The eclipse will provide opportunities for many people to observe one of nature’s most-spectacular events. A number of museums and planetaria, colleges and universities, and amateur astronomers are already planning public events in cities like Casper, Wyoming, St. Joseph, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, and Nashville, Tennessee, to name just a few.

The eclipse will also afford unique professional-amateur collaborations. This talk will introduce the eclipse details, equipment considerations, and focus on a number of pro-am eclipse collaborations. It is not too early to start planning where one will go to view the eclipse, equipment, and alternate plans in case of poor weather.

Challenger topic

On January 28, 1986, NASA launched the space shuttle Challenger on the program's 25th mission. STS 51L, the official mission designation, was suppose to highlight that the operational shuttle was for everyone; from Hughes flight engineer Greg Jarvis to Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe. Tragically, 73 seconds after launch, Challenger broke apart due to high g-forces following the explosion of the orbiter's External Tank. 

Join Mike Reynolds, a NASA Teacher-in-Space finalist, for a personal and candid journey through the Teacher-in-Space Program, the Challenger accident, and the aftermath.

Dr. Mike Reynolds