Bill Nye, National Park Service & Science Experts Host North American Eclipse Press Conference

Eclipse educators, Junior Rangers gather with families at Homestead National Monument to experience and celebrate total solar eclipse

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2017

Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Jeffrey Olson
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-202-230-2088

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. CDT, 21 August 2017


  • Bill Nye, CEO, The Planetary Society
  • Mark Engler, superintendent, Homestead National Monument
  • Andrea Jones, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter education and public outreach lead, NASA
  • Lindley Johnson, Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Science Division, NASA
  • Amy Mainzer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory astrophysicist and science curriculum consultant for Ready Jet Go!, airing on PBS KIDS

WHAT: Bill Nye (The Science Guy™), Planetary Society CEO, will join U.S. National Park Rangers, Junior Rangers, PBS KIDS’ Ready Jet Go! and NASA space science experts at Homestead National Monument of America to celebrate and educate audiences during the North American Eclipse. Mr. Nye will greet media and answer questions on site during a morning press conference preceding the eclipse. Mark Engler, superintendent of Homestead National Monument, will outline the day’s activities. NASA scientists and educators Andrea Jones and Lindley Johnson will answer questions about the Moon, planetary science and NASA programs during the day. Amy Mainzer, NASA scientist and star of Ready Jet Go!’s live-action segments, will lead a Q&A and provide explanations of the solar eclipse as it descends over Homestead.

WHERE: Heritage Center Theatre Auditorium, Homestead National Monument of America, 24405 SW 75th Road, Beatrice, NE 68310 Directions:

WHY: The North American Total Solar Eclipse will be an awe-inspiring experience from anywhere in its path, impacting millions. The U.S. National Park Service, NASA, Ready Jet Go! and The Planetary Society, the world's largest non-governmental space interest group, are encouraging people to go out and experience the eclipse, safely through protective eyewear. The collaboration builds on the National Park Service’s existing night sky interpretive programs by bringing The Planetary Society’s astronomy education resources into the fold. The agency and non-profit organization are offering an array of learning activities and resources for the eclipse: key information, educational resources for explorers, and fun and inspiring activities designed to shape indelible experiences.

R.S.V.P.: Credentialed media may attend. Please contact Danielle Gunn, [email protected], or Jeffrey Olson, [email protected], to r.s.v.p. Please provide names of any accompanying camera crew members.

REMOTE REPORTING RESOURCES: Visit these links for complete remote reporting resources, including: videos, photographs, biographies, press statements and fact sheets:


About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

About Homestead National Monument of America
In America’s Heartland, Homestead National Monument of America, tells our country’s epic Homesteading Story. The Homestead Act of 1862 is often cited as one of our Nation’s most significant pieces of legislation. Today there are an estimated 93 million descendants of those Americans who filed for free land through the Homestead Act of 1862. The Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln and came to an end 123 years later during President Ronald Reagan’s Administration.

About The Planetary Society
The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of The Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO. Learn more:

About NASA
NASA reaches for new heights and reveals the unknown for the benefit of humankind. Since its inception in 1958, NASA has accomplished many great scientific and technological feats in air and space. NASA technology also has been adapted for many nonaerospace uses by the private sector. NASA remains a leading force in scientific research and in stimulating public interest in aerospace exploration, as well as science and technology in general. Perhaps more importantly, our exploration of space has taught us to view Earth, ourselves, and the universe in a new way. While the tremendous technical and scientific accomplishments of NASA demonstrate vividly that humans can achieve previously inconceivable feats, we also are humbled by the realization that Earth is just a tiny "blue marble" in the cosmos.

About Ready Jet Go!
Ready Jet Go! follows Jet Propulsion, the new kid in town who also happens to be an alien from outer space. Along with his Earthling friends Sean and Sydney, Jet goes on intergalactic explorations through the solar system, finding out about our planet and the environment – as well as friendship and teamwork – along the way. Each episode of Ready Jet Go! poses a question about outer space or Earth science and Jet and his fellow explorers must use scientific thinking skills and inquiry practices to discover the answers. The series’ trademark humor, catchy tunes and digital games make the learning even more fun and effective. Ready Jet Go! is produced by Wind Dancer Films and funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the U.S. Department of Education through the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, a program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families, especially those from low-income communities.

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit