Teachable moments with the sun and moon

Huambo, Angola, 2017

Hello, I’m a British astrophysicist and science communicator based in Japan. I run a programme that uses solar and lunar eclipses as ‘teachable moments’. My recent projects include Angola 2017 and Indonesia 2016, and I’m part of the team that provides live coverage of eclipses at timeanddate.com.

What is a teachable moment?
Here is a wonderful definition: the occasion when people are “caught by phenomena, events or situations” that create “a need to know and increased motivation to learn.”

Why solar and lunar eclipses?
Three reasons: they provide unique teachable moments; they are powerful shared experiences; they are truly global events.

And why is this website called Ten Sentences?
It’s a tribute to Abraham Lincoln. His Gettysburg Address is a timeless example of language and communication – and it contains just ten sentences. He was also a champion of science and education. (Fun fact: Lincoln is the only US president to have been awarded a patent.)

Penang Bridge, Malaysia, 2016Image: Jordan Lye



NEVER look at the sun with the naked eye. Even if the sun is 99% covered by the moon, the remaining sunlight is extremely bright and can cause permanent damage to the eye. (The only time it is safe to view a solar eclipse with the naked eye is during the few short minutes or seconds of totality during a total eclipse.)