Linda Hall Library
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Total Eclipse of the Sun: A Once in a Lifetime Event

June 15, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The lecture

The last time the Kansas City area saw a total eclipse of the Sun was in 1806, nearly a century before cars began using roads. On August 21, 2017—just a few months from now—the area will see a total eclipse of the Sun. This lecture will describe how Nature’s finest spectacle happens, how incredibly rare it is, and how best to enjoy it. Not to worry if you sleep through it; the next total solar eclipse in Kansas City will be on June 17, 2672!

The speaker

David H.  Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history.  He has discovered 22 comets, nine of them using his own backyard telescopes. With Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California he discovered Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994. That episode produced the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system. Levy is currently involved with the Jarnac Comet Survey, which is based at the Jarnac Observatory in Vail, Arizona but which has telescopes planned for locations around the world.

Dr. Levy is the author or editor of 35 books and other products. He won an Emmy in 1998 as part of the writing team for the Discovery Channel documentary, Three Minutes to Impact. As the Science Editor for Parade Magazine from 1997 to 2006, he was able to reach more than 80 million readers, almost a quarter of the population of the United States. A contributing editor for Sky and Telescope Magazine, he writes its monthly “Star Trails” column, and his “Nightfall” feature appears in each issue of the Canadian magazine, Skynews.

He and his wife Wendee host a weekly radio show available worldwide at In 2004 he was the Senator John Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at Arizona State University. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, and asteroid 3673 (Levy) was named in his honor. In 2010, David became the first person to discover comets visually, photographically, and electronically. Also in 2010, he was awarded a Ph.D. in English from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for his dissertation on the topic of “The Sky in Early Modern English Literature: A Study of Allusions to Celestial Events in Elizabethan and Jacobean Writing, 1572-1610.” Levy is President of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation, an organization intended to inspire new generations to develop an inquiring interest in the sciences, or in other words, to reach for the stars.

Admission tickets

The event is free and open to the public; however, e-tickets are required.


Parking is free in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter.


June 15
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Eric Ward


Linda Hall Library
5109 Cherry
Kansas City, 64110 United States
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For reservation questions, please email or call 816.926.8772 to leave a message.

Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information on these events.