'You owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse,' says science writer David Baron

In this TEDx Talk, science writer and umbraphile (an "eclipse chaser") David Baron emphasizes the importance of witnessing a total solar eclipse firsthand (eye?) at least once in your lifetime.

In 1998, Baron traveled to Aruba to experience his first one:

Well, about 10 minutes before the total solar eclipse was set to begin, weird things started to happen. A cool wind kicked up. Daylight looked odd, and shadows became very strange; they looked bizarrely sharp, as if someone had turned up the contrast knob on the TV. Then I looked offshore, and I noticed running lights on boats, so clearly it was getting dark, although I hadn't realized it. Well soon, it was obvious it was getting dark. It felt like my eyesight was failing.

And then all of a sudden, the lights went out. Well, at that, a cheer erupted from the beach, and I took off my eclipse glasses, because at this point during the total eclipse, it was safe to look at the sun with the naked eye. And I glanced upward, and I was just dumbstruck...

I'd seen blue skies and grey skies and starry skies and angry skies and pink skies at sunrise. But here was a sky I had never seen...

This guy is really into eclipses. So much so that he wrote a book on it, it's titled American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World.

Want to see one? Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the next total solar eclipse will travel across the United States on August 21st. Its path travels across Oregon and down through South Carolina. The next one after that is July 2, 2019 but it won't be visible over the United States. You'll have to wait until October 14, 2023 for that.

Previously: Seriously detailed NASA map of August 21st eclipse over North America