WKU professor witnesses 2016 total solar eclipse in Indonesia - WDRB 41 Louisville News

WKU professor witnesses 2016 total solar eclipse in Indonesia

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB)--Dr. Richard Gelderman has dedicated his life to science. 

"I'm a professional astronomer," he said.

Gelderman passes his knowledge on every day to students at Western Kentucky University. But, it's a trip thousands of miles away from Hardin Planetarium, that makes him a total solar eclipse field expert.

He saw one a little more than a year ago. "I was in the equator, in Indonesia," said Gelderman. It was March of 2016. The southeastern Asian nation got quite the show.

"As a human being, to have the sun disappear in the middle of the day, just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, it just rocks your socks," he said. 

The bugs went quiet, the thermometer tanked, words were hard to find. "Instead of being speechless, you're going to sit there and jabber like than an idiot," Gelderman said with a smile.

Now that he's had months to collect his thoughts, he's the perfect person to bring what will happen here in the Bluegrass, into focus.

"In this part of Kentucky, it starts just a little before noon. There will be the smallest little nick out of the sun at first, and it will slowly, slowly get covered up," Gelderman told WDRB.

Some travel might be necessary, and traffic could get dicey, but for Gelderman, an up close and personal look at a total solar eclipse for the second time cannot be overshadowed.

"You're just going to be amazed at what just went on," he said.

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