Science Articles


Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz have written a children’s book with illustrations in the field of astronomy titled ‘When the Sun goes dark’.

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Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz have written a children’s book with illustrations in the field of astronomy titled ‘When the Sun goes dark’. This book is for all ages to learn and teach others about the solar eclipse that is coming on 21st August.



In the book, Diana, a 12-year-old girl along with Sammy, her little brother, go to meet their grandparents who are dressed up in colorful attires. She inquires about their colorful clothes as in the reason behind them being dressed up as tourists with large cameras. The grandparents narrate them about their recent trip for viewing the solar eclipse. By implementing the use of daily household items like Hula-Hoop, the grandparents demonstrate the science behind the eclipses.



Eric Freeberg is the illustrator for the drawings seen in the book while the science educators Fraknoi and Schatz have written the content. The book has launched in the right time since on 21st August, millions of people are going to travel for viewing the solar eclipse.

Fraknoi is also the lead author of the college textbook, ‘Astronomy’ along with being the moderator of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures in California at the Foothill College. He has received a lot of awards for his work contributing to creating awareness in the field of astronomy. He has even received the honour of having an asteroid named after him by the International Astronomical Union.



Fraknoi claims that intermediaries play a very important role in spreading the information like the grandparents helped the children to understand the total solar eclipse. He says that when people pass on the information from one to another, it helps the information to travel faster and reach a wider audience.

The book offers examples for explaining the phenomena of total solar eclipse which can be used by the story tellers for teaching their younger ones and family. Fraknoi managed to include the examples in the book for explaining the phenomena which he claims has been successful amongst his college students also. Fraknoi says that by finding easier ways of understanding science, astronomy can be understood easily and more effectively.

Schatz has been keen on explaining the relationships of sun and moon and other phenomena that happen in the sky owing to the basic need of it. By using the book as amedium, the children can learn about such phenomena at an early age.