Are you looking for resources for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse? Ask the following specialists!

Our Astronomers-in-Residence are available to answer your astronomy questions, link you to online resources, or visit your classroom or group to give presentations on a variety of astronomy topics.


John Cowens

My name is JOHN COWENS, a.k.a. the "Astro-Nut."  For thirty-three years I had the privilege of being a teacher in Indiana and Oregon.  Since age 7, I have been fascinated about astronomy and the incredible accomplishments of science and technology. Not only did I share exciting science discoveries with my students, but traveled to other school districts throughout Oregon for the purpose of conducting astronomy school assemblies. Although I retired from teaching in 2010, I can't seem to turn teaching off!  I am readily available to share exciting information and enthusiasm for astronomy, space education and other areas of science.  I'm also please to announce that I'm starting my 20th year as the "Oregon Solar System Ambassador" hosted by NASA/JPL. This amazing program is public outreach and designed to work with motivated volunteers across the nation. My responsibility is to communicate the excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries to schools and public groups throughout Oregon, but have done presentations and star parties in Washington, California, and Indiana.   

Contact John Cowens via phone 541-761-8861 or via email at He can also be reached on Facebook and online at


Randall Milstein

Randall L. Milstein, Ph.D., teaches Descriptive Astronomy, Solar System Astronomy, and Observational Astronomy for the Oregon State University Physics Department. Dr. Milstein also teaches Comparative Planetary Science in the OSU University Honors College as well as several astronomy-based colloquia; he is also a faculty member in the OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Milstein’s research interests include astrogeology, impact-cratering dynamics, archaeoastronomy, and astronomy’s role in popular culture: he is a regular outreach speaker and enjoys engaging with the public on topics of science, astronomy, and science fiction.

Contact Randall Milstein via email at


Graduate Student Astronomers-in-Residence:

Atul Chhotray

In the summer of 2014, Atul Chhotray transferred to Oregon State University from NC State University. At OSU Atul is pursuing a PhD in astrophysics under the supervision of Prof. Davide Lazzati. During his PhD research, Atul has created novel computer codes to simulate the interaction of light (electromagnetic radiation) with matter. He uses these computer simulations to explore the idea of 'radiative acceleration', i.e., how light can accelerate matter to highest speeds permitted by the laws of the universe. Using these ideas, he studies ultra fast moving matter (relativistic jets) produced by black holes formed during Gamma-ray bursts, and from extra-large black holes found at the centers of galaxies.
In addition to research, Atul is passionate about physics / astronomy outreach and enjoys connecting with the public through outreach events. He is the co-organizer of the hugely successful Astronomy Open House at OSU. When not doing astrophysics or outreach, he likes to read, hike, do weight training and play racquet sports.

Contact Atul Chhotray via email at


Tyler Parsotan

Tyler Parsotan is a graduate student studying astrophysics under Dr. Lazzati at Oregon State University. He is originally from NY and moved to FL to get his undergraduate degree in Space Physics. There, he conducted research on Stellar Atmospheres and the ionosphere of the Earth. Additionally, he got the opportunity to use telescopes such as the Cerro Tololo Telescopes in Chile. As an avid astrophysicist, Tyler in collaboration with another Graduate Student, Atul Chhotray, began hosting the Astronomy Open Houses and established the OSU Astronomy Club. Together, the Open House and the Astronomy Club make astrophysics much more accessible to those who don’t get to interact with the Universe on a day to day basis. It is his dream that one day everyone will be able to look up at the night sky and understand just how expansive the Universe is.

Contact Tyler Parsotan via email at



Eclipse Resources

NASA Eclipse Website:


Eye Safety During Solar Eclipses:


National Space Grant Balloon Eclipse Effort:


Sky and Telescope’s How to Look at the Sun:


The Great American Eclipse: