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JEM Professor Inspires Solar Eclipse Excitement

Littmann bookHill Chair of Excellence in Science Writing and CCI Board of Visitors Professor Mark Littmann’s newly released book, Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024, written with co-author Fred Espenak, is a must read for anyone interested in this summer’s total solar eclipse. In addition to the release of the book, Littmann is sharing his vast knowledge and enthusiasm for the upcoming eclipse through a planetarium show and by giving talks.

The Sudekum Planetarium at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville commissioned Littmann to write the script for a planetarium star theater show, Eclipse–The Sun Revealed, that is now playing at the Nashville planetarium and a number of other planetariums across the country. 

On April 7, 2017, Littman was the featured speaker for the UT Science Forum about the upcoming eclipse (view at for which he received an enthusiastic response.  

Further adding to his fame, Astronomer Jim Young, a renowned asteroid specialist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Table Mountain Observatory in California, named an asteroid he discovered after Littmann because he likes Littmann’s writing about astronomy. So out there in the space, orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter is Asteroid 303265 Littmann. 

JEM Director and Professor Catherine Luther said, “This is a wonderful series of accomplishments. Professor Littmann has inspired many science writing students over the years. We congratulate him on these successes.”