WSIU Solar Eclipse Activities to Include Live Planetary Radio Show, Live TV Coverage from SIU

Aug 2, 2017

Mat Kaplan, host of Planetary Radio
Credit © Isabel Lawrence Photographers

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Contact: Jeff Williams, WSIU Radio General Manager, (618) 453-6170,; Darryl Moses, Associate Director, WSIU TV & Video Services, (618) 453-6191,

WSIU Solar Eclipse Activities to Include Live Presentation of Planetary Radio, Exclusive Live Television Coverage of Eclipse from SIU Campus

Carbondale, IL – WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, will present a variety of programs and activities associated with the upcoming Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017. WSIU’s Eclipse programming and activities are sponsored by Southern Illinois Healthcare, Advanced Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (AES), and First Southern Bank.

WSIU Radio, in partnership with The Planetary Society, will host Planetary Radio Live with Mat Kaplan, a live presentation of the nationally-distributed radio series, Planetary Radio, on Sunday, August 20 from 5pm to 6:30pm at SIU’s Shryock Auditorium. Series host Mat Kaplan will lead two interactive panel discussions about the solar eclipse with Bob Baer of the SIU Physics Department and experts from Fermi LabMITAdler Planetarium in Chicago, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Local singer-songwriter Jenny Johnson will perform her new tune "Solar Eclipse," among other songs.

This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and may be reserved through the SIU Arena Ticket Office at (618) 453-2000 or SIUSALUKIS.COM (must print own tickets) or in person at 170 Boydston Center, 1490 Douglas Drive on the SIU Carbondale campus. Find links to watch a live stream of Planetary Radio Live with Mat Kaplan online at and The program will air as a two-part Planetary Radio episode on WSIU Radio at a later date.

Please note that public parking on the SIU Carbondale campus during the Eclipse weekend is first-come, first-served. Some lots will be unavailable due to Eclipse activities. The City of Carbondale will provide shuttle services to on-campus locations. Get details online at

WSIU-TV will present five-and-a-half hours of live coverage of the total solar eclipse from SIU Saluki Stadium on Monday, August 21 from 10am through 3:30pm. Scientists and experts from NASA Edge, the Astronomical Association of Southern Illinois, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, the Louisiana Space ConsortiumNASA’s Goddard Space Flight CenterCitizen CATELunt Solar Services, the Globe Observer, and other organizations will discuss the science behind the solar eclipse, provide updates on totality as it progresses, conduct science demonstrations, explore topics such as astrophotography, share safe viewing practices, and more.

Additional programming will include the NOVA special Eclipse Over America on Monday, August 21 at 8pm, with a repeat on Wednesday, August 23 at 7pm, and The Farthest – Voyager in Space on Wednesday, August 23 at 8pm. For details about the programs and related specials, visit

On Monday, August 21 at 7:44am and 4:44pm, WSIU Radio News Director Jennifer Fuller will broadcast an interview with Mat Kaplan, host of Planetary Radio, about what to expect during the Solar Eclipse. WSIU Radio also will provide local reporting from a variety of locations around the region on Eclipse Day. Tune in to WSIU 91.9 FM/HD, WUSI 90.3 FM, and WVSI 88.9 FM or listen online at for Eclipse stories and interviews.                                                 

WSIU Outreach will host a PBS KIDS booth in the Children’s Exploration Zone at the Crossroads Astronomy, Science & Technology Expo in the SIU Arena on Sunday, August 20 and Monday, August 21 from 9am to 5pm. Kids will enjoy PBS KIDS space science activities, fun giveaways, videos, a selfie station, and photo ops with costume character Jet Propulsion from the PBS KIDS series, Ready, Jet, Go. Look for WSIU’s Literacy Van, which will be parked inside the SIU Arena.

WSIU also plans to create an interactive online story map documenting SIU Eclipse Day activities, which will feature photos, media clips, and interviews. A link to the map will be available at approximately two weeks after Eclipse Day. Visitors to the region are invited to use the hashtag #EclipseWSIU when sharing their Eclipse Day images on social media for possible inclusion in an online photo album. Stay tuned to WSIU on the air and online for updates about this project.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department. 

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 

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