Total Eclipse or Bust! A 2024 Family Road Trip

By Patricia Totten Espenak

Total Eclipse or Bust!
A 2024 Family Road Trip

Full Color Edition


"TOTAL Eclipse or Bust! A 2024 Family Road Trip" is a book for the entire family. It explains the how and why of eclipses in an uncomplicated and friendly way. It also provides basic information about how to view a total solar eclipse and where to go for America's eclipse on April 8, 2024.

This a great book for the whole family. If you're new to eclipses this book is for you!

Sample Pages

Reviews (of previous edition)

Fun for the family to read and plan together
By Good Shopper on November 4, 2015

I bought this for my 3 grandchildren, but since I’m very interested in both lunar and solar eclipses, I can’t resist reading it myself before giving it to them. I bought it just last week, but am already on my 2nd time thru, this time making plans for 2017.
I’m reviewing it from a child’s point of view and it seems very accessible and welcoming, especially with the car trip story, the diagrams and other illustrations, including photos of the author in Antarctica and the cute young girls acting out eclipse sightings.
There’s plenty of information for us to read and discuss together –a lot is new to me, such as the story about Vulcan. An unexpected bonus is that the author’s husband is an eclipse expert with a website and books for adults.
I’m very excited that we won’t have to break the bank to see this event on April 8, 2024! Either Oregon or Idaho should be a very manageable drive (and we’ll follow the advice to have a Plan B)!

Exciting and educating children about the magnificent sight of a total solar eclipse
By Michael Zeiler on October 29, 2015

This book is an engaging story of a family viewing a total solar eclipse. It is clearly written and aimed for children to understand and anticipate this celestial wonder. I liked the analogy of viewing a spectacle like the Grand Canyon only briefly as a comparison to the sight of a total eclipse. Also, the experiences of past eclipse viewers, such as during the U.S. total solar eclipse of 1878, adds a dimension tying together generations. Future eclipses are also described in a map that invite children to think of what they may see throughout their life, or the life or their children and grandchildren. Highly recommended as a book to read with your child as the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 approaches.

Center Line Excitement!
By Ardis Danon on October 27, 2015

"TOTAL Eclipse or Bust" is a delightful children's story. The trip to the eclipse references historical reactions to total eclipses through the centuries. Planet Vulcan? Who knew! The book presents accurate information about total solar eclipses with an enthusiasm that has me making travel plans for 2017!

Get Excited for 2017!!
By kumpf23 on October 24, 2015

Owen my 10 year old really enjoyed this book! His favorite story was the one about the Pike's Peak eclipse. He liked learning some new terms from the glossary. I thought the book was readable and enjoyable, and a great way to learn about eclipses. AND it's getting us even more excited about the 2017 eclipse!! Can't wait!! Love the pictures!

... of total solar eclipses for the entire family to enjoy - well written and illustrated
By Dorothy J. Reilly on October 24, 2015

A very engaging explanation of total solar eclipses for the entire family to enjoy - well written and illustrated. It brought back memories of the two total eclipses I've seen and made me realize it is time to see more. Thanks to all the information provided, I know how to start planning for 2017.

MUST READ!! Learn about an eclipse in an easy to read format!!!
By Debbie Schneider on October 24, 2015

Lots of good information in an easy to read and understand format for kids and adults!!! If you want to learn about eclipses and prepare for the one that you will be able to see in the U.S. in 2017 without pouring through a text book, this the book for you!

About the Author

Patricia Totten Espenak is a retired chemistry teacher and amateur astronomer who has traveled widely with her husband, Fred, to view various celestial events, including Total and Annular Solar Eclipses, Lunar Eclipses, and Transits of Mercury and Venus.

She has traveled to 20 total solar eclipses with destinations such as India, Zambia, Tahiti, Turkey, Libya, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.

Between packing and unpacking, she enjoys hiking with Fred in the Chiricahua Mountains near their home and viewing the wonderfully dark skies of southeastern Arizona.

eclipse book

Also Available!

Get Eclipsed: A Family Guide to Two North American Eclipses

North America will be the scene for two spectacular eclipses of the Sun. On October 14, 2023, an annular eclipse of the Sun occurs in western USA and Mexico. Six months later, an incomparable total eclipse of the Sun occurs on April 8, 2024. Its 125-mile wide path crosses Mexico, the USA from Texas to Maine, and eastern Canada.

During both of these events, a partial eclipse of the Sun will be visible from virtually all of North America. The last annular eclipse visible from the USA was in 2012. The last total eclipse visible from the USA was in 2017, and the next one to cross the country won't be until 2044. Don't miss the incredible experience of seeing these celestial wonders!

Get Eclipsed is an easy to read, family friendly, inexpensive eclipse guide for the entire family. It tells you everything you need to know about the upcoming annular and total eclipses of the Sun in 2023 and 2024. And it comes with two pairs of special glasses for safely watching the partial eclipse phases and annularity.

For more information visit Get Eclipsed.


Road Atlas of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024

The Road Atlas for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024 contains a comprehensive series of 26 maps of the path of totality across Mexico, the USA and Canada. The large scale (1 inch ≈ 22 miles) shows both major and minor roads, towns and cities, rivers, parks, and mountains.

Although a partial eclipse will be seen from all of North America, the total phase in which the Moon completely covers the Sun (known as totality) will only be seen from within the 120-mile-wide path of the Moon’s umbral shadow as it sweeps across Mexico, the United States (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine), and Canada (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland).

Armed with this atlas and the latest weather forecasts, the road warrior is ready to chase totality no matter where it takes him/her along the entire path. This mobile strategy offers the highest probability of witnessing the spectacular 2024 total eclipse in clear skies.

For more information visit Road Atlas for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2024.


Eclipse Bulletin: Total Solar Eclipse of 2024 April 08

The Eclipse Bulletin: Total Solar Eclipse of 2024 April 08 is the complementary publication of the 2024 Road Atlas and is the ultimate guide to this highly anticipated event.

Eleven high resolution maps plot the total eclipse track across Mexico, the USA, and Canada. The large map scale (1 inch ≈ 53 miles) shows hundreds of cities and towns in the path, the location of major roads and highways, and the duration of totality with distance from the central line. Local circumstances tables for hundreds cities the USA, Canada, and Mexico provide times of each phase of the eclipse along with the eclipse magnitude, duration and Sun's altitude. A detailed climatological study identifies areas along the eclipse path where the highest probability of favorable weather may be found.

Finally, comprehensive information is presented about solar filters and how to safely observe the eclipse.

For more information visit Eclipse Bulletin: Total Solar Eclipse of 2024 April 08.

eclipse book

Eclipse Almanac

The Eclipse Almanac is a series of five publications. Each one is a concise reference for every eclipse of the Sun and the Moon over a 10-year period. This compendium identifies when and where each of these events will be seen. Particular details about each eclipse are included, as well as a 25-year table looking further into the future.

Section 1 presents solar eclipses including an explanation of why they occur, types of solar eclipses, and the visual appearance of each. Global maps depict the geographic regions of visibility of each of the 22 to 23 solar eclipses.

Section 2 covers lunar eclipses explaning why they occur, the types of lunar eclipses, and the appearance of each. Detailed figures illustrate each of the 22 to 23 lunar eclipses including the Moon's path through Earth's shadows, and a map of the geographic visibility of every eclipse.

Section 3 lists the date and time of the Moon’s phases over the decade.

The five volume Eclipse Almanac series covers the decades from 2021 to 2070.

For more information visit Eclipse Almanac.


Atlas of Central Solar Eclipses in the USA

The Atlas of Central Solar Eclipses in the USA contains of a series of 499 global maps showing the geographic track of every total and annular solar eclipse across the USA (including Alaska and Hawaii) during the two-thousand-year period 1001 through 3000. It is accompanied by a catalog that lists the major characteristics of each eclipse including its duration and whether it is visible from the lower 48 states, Alaska and/or Hawaii.

A set of 20 detailed maps, each covering a 50-year period and centered on the lower 48 states, shows the path of every total and annular eclipse. The maps include state boundaries and major cities. These maps also cover southern Canada and northern Mexico.

For more information visit Atlas of Central Solar Eclipses in the USA.


21st Century Canon of Solar Eclipses

The 21st Century Canon of Solar Eclipses is the complete guide to every solar eclipse occurring from 2001 tom 2100 (224 eclipse in all). It includes information and maps for all total, annular, hybrid, and partial eclipses. A special world atlas shows detailed full page maps of all central eclipse paths (total, annular and hybrid).

This book is the successor and replacement for the Fifty-Year Canon of Solar Eclipses published in 1987. The new 21st Century Canon uses modern JPL ephemerides for the Sun and Moon, and features improved maps include political boundaries and major cities. An essential reference for all serious eclipse chasers

For more information visit 21st Century Canon of Solar Eclipses.