Author: Kate

The Eclipse Chasing Psychologist
10 Jul 2012

Hot News!

The publication of my book Total Addiction: Life of an Eclipse Chaser has been brought forward from September to the end of July. The publishers and myself have been working behind the scenes in order to meet the earlier deadline. It has only been in the past week that I have really started to let people know that the book is available to pre-order. Since then, the book has become an Amazon bestseller – topping the Theoretical and Mathematical Astronomy Category, and at one point I was also second in the Hot New Releases in Astronomy. I know it’s not a competition, but it was rather exciting to be up there above the likes of Prof Brian Cox, Sir Patrick Moore and Prof Stephen Hawking – if only for a week.

My sincerest thanks to everyone who is pre-ordering the book. If you would like to pre-order through Amazon, please click on this link: (again, apologies for the length – still can’t figure this hyperlinking out):″>Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser</a><img src=

This is my first book sold on Amazon, so I never really took notice of what the ranking figures meant, and how they were calculated. When the book is a bestseller, these rankings are updated hourly, which means I am constantly checking to see where the book is positioned. It’s yet another one of the things I have learned during the process of publishing a book – it has been a fascinating journey.


10 Jul 2012

A four year drought


An Eclipsed message
Letters made up of partial eclipses. Anything with holes can project the partial eclipse.

The countdown is on until the next total eclipse – 13/14 November. Only 126 days to go! It has been some time since I actually saw my last total eclipse.

The last one was on July 11, 2010 over Polynesia, Chile and Argentina. I had to miss that one due to my partner Geordie overcoming a serious illness. The total eclipse before that was on July 22, 2009. I was in the crowd desperately willing the clouds to part in the Chinese seaside resort of Jinshanwei, just south of Shanghai. Sadly, it was not meant to be.

So the last time that I have actually properly experienced a total eclipse was on top of a hill, in remote outer Mongolia, with Geordie and our eclipse chasing mate Chris. What an amazing trip, amazing scenery, interesting people, and a great adventure, as well as a totally awesome eclipse. That was on August 1, 2008. It’s hard to believe that it was almost four years ago to the day. I have been in serious withdrawal since, and as you can imagine am very keen to be in position in November. I am literally counting down the days until I can stand in the shadow again. Sigh.

21 May 2012

Live feeds and zzzzz

I stayed up last night watching the webcasts for the annular eclipse, which commenced at around 11.30pm local time in Belfast. I was certainly not alone – I noted that many of the feeds had audiences of hundreds of thousands of people, all eagerly awaiting a glimpse of totality. Those poor Panasonic guys up on top of Mt Fuji – I’m sure it was still an amazing experience, but it did look rather miserable. It was great to see the eclipse from a variety of feeds. I found myself flicking across different feeds, and I have to confess that I became so tired that I did not actually see any live feeds of the eclipse making landfall in the US.. Thanks again to all those involved in live feeds – it is much appreciated. Even if I did fall asleep.

20 May 2012

10 hours to go until the annular eclipse

In just over ten hours, the annular eclipse of 2012 will begin at sunrise in China. The shadow of the moon will make it’s way across the earth, across the pacific and over the western part of North America until sunset in Texas. I plan to watch the event on live webcasts – something that I have not done before. You see, I am usually on the ground eagerly awaiting the arrival of the shadow. So this will be quite a different experience. I wonder if I will also share the excitement, thrill and goosebumps watching it unfold live.

I can see a few advantages actually. I have none of the anxiety associated with what the cloud will be doing at the time of totality, as I will be sitting in the comfort of my living room in Belfast instead of at the mercy of sinister clouds. I also am able to view live webcasts from several locations across the path of totality – something that is obviously impossible to do live. It is also easier on my bank account too. I will be watching the feeds from China, Japan and the US, and have a wide range of choice regarding location based upon where people are providing their feeds from. Currently I am thinking of using the site which will be feeding live from Japan and then the US. But I will spend a little time now searching for feeds provided by eclipse chasers I know, so I can feel perhaps a little more connected to the eclipse.

But, as all eclipse chasers know, watching it on a screen in no way compares to being there and experiencing an eclipse. I might be comfortable, with no anxiety and lots of choice, but I am the one who is missing out.

19 May 2012

My first blog…and on missing the Annular eclipse TOMORROW

I have finally taken the plunge and created my website. I’m not known for my technical abilities, so I am hoping that you will be forgiving especially in the first few months of this site.

The timing of my website going live is a little disappointing – I have been working all weekend in a rather cold Belfast when on the other side of the world an annular eclipse is about to begin. The path of this annular eclipse starts in China, goes through northern Taiwan, the south of Japan, and then continues across the Pacific and over to North America. It will be the first eclipse that can be seen from North America for many years, and as a result there is quite a lot of excitement. And I am here, in cold Belfast, setting up my website on eclipse chasing. So wrong! If it was a total eclipse, then nothing would have stopped me from jumping on a plane to be there. Annular eclipses are fascinating and awesome in their own right, but do not involve some of the most dramatic features as seen in a total eclipse. So I shall just have to make do with watching webcasts. :(