"When I think of the solar system and the objects in orbit on their paths, I think of them as pirouetting dancers in a cosmic ballet, choreographed by the forces of gravity," he said. "And so, knowing this as an astrophysicist, to recognize that occasionally things line up in ways that are uncommon or unusual either in your life experience or for the earth itself — to deny yourself of that opportunity would be to not live as full of a life as you could have experiencing the natural world around you."
Rao, who has witnessed several solar eclipses throughout his life, offered up some equally strong advice: don't spend the whole time watching the eclipse through your iPhone's camera.
"If you're going to see if for the first time, totality, don't stand outside with your iPhone and look at the eclipse like this," he said, pretending to hold a phone up in the air. "Please, don't do that. Soak it up. Enjoy it. If you want pictures, get someone nearby to send you pictures of the event. This is something to enjoy and take every single second in because, again, every single second is precious in the short time that the eclipse is in totality."