Meet the member of the Warren Astronomical Society planning a big eclipse trip

Posted at 6:37 AM, Apr 02, 2024

The highly-anticipated total solar eclipse is less than a week away, and it's going to be the last total solar eclipse for the next 20 years.

It has the attention of metro Detroit's oldest astronomical society, and I spoke to one member planning a cross-country trip to see the best view.

Robert Berta has loved space since he was a kid. Now, the solar system ambassador for NASA is also a member of the Warren Astronomical Society, and gets to share his passion of our solar system.

"With the astronomy, it keeps me really busy. As a solar system ambassador, I go into all of the schools and groups. I am in charge of the Boy and Girl Acouts in southeast Michigan for their program in astronomy," Berta said.

While you would think he would have seen every eclipse in his lifetime, he only saw the one in 2017.

"I was always somewhere else or life got in the way of actually traveling to see them, so I have seen one thus far.

Berta traveled to Casper, Wyoming with his son and best friend to see the one in August 2017 and brought his telescope. It's not just an ordinary telescope. It can take photos and zoom in very close.

This year's eclipse is going to be special, as Berta and his youngest son are flying to Texas.

"We are going to fly down and will be looking for whatever airport has the clearest skies, and that's where we're going to go," he said.

When it comes to looking through binoculars or a telescope during an eclipse, make sure they have the correct solar filter to do so. You will need to be very careful, and Berta said do not use sunglasses.