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Eclipse chaser on mission to witness nature's wonder

Posted at 4:50 PM, Aug 16, 2017

While many are getting ready to experience a total solar eclipse for the first time Monday for one man it's becoming routine. But that doesn't make it any less special. In fact, it's just the opposite.

David Baron can still remember watching the total eclipse on the sands of Aruba.

"I went down there not sure what I would experience and it just changed my life," Baron says.

He remembers watching the total solar eclipse on a rootop in Germany.

"When the moon shadow came in and the solar corona suddenly revealed itself there was just this enormous cry of joy that lifted up from the city," Baron recalls.

He also remembers watching the total solar eclipses in Australia, the Faroe Islands and Indonesia.

"Around it is this spectacular, it looks like a wreath sort of like a woven circle with fiber coming off shimmering almost like tinsel," Baron describes. "It's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen in the sky."

While many people are fortunate to see this rare natural wonder once in their lives, Baron has experienced it five times over.

"You would wonder if you've seen one why would you need to see more?" Baron says. "What I've come to realize is that no two total solar eclipses are the same."

Baron's quest to see as many total solar eclipses as possible started after a chance conversation with an astronomer more than 20 years ago.

"He said to me, 'Before you die you owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse,'" Baron recalls. "And that got my attention."

Now he's got quite the collection of eclipse memorabilia and pictures. But he doesn't take any himself.

"I purposely don't take pictures during total eclipse is because I want to experience every precious second," Baron says.

A total eclipse literlally lasts seconds, about 150. Long enough Baron says, to change his outlook on life.

"It connects you to the universe in a way that I think is unlike anything else," Baron says. "It makes you understand that we are floating in outer space and that our solar system is just this tiny little part of this vast universe."

Now Baron shares his total eclipse excitement through a TED Talk and he has written a new book, "American Eclipse."

Now he's preparing to witness total solar eclipse number six, and giving the same advice given to him so many years ago.

"Before you die you owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse," Baron advises. "It is that awe inspiring."