The ESI College is pleased to present a program by Rich Wolfson, professor emeritus of Physics at Middlebury College, about “The Sun You Don’t See,” timed to coincide with the solar eclipse that will be visible in much of Vermont in April.

[ NOTE: We have had such a tremendous level of interest in Professor Wolfson’s lecture that we had to cap the registration list. If you did not sign up but would like to be put on the waitlist, please contact us at, or 802-388-3983. We are also hoping to record the lecture. If you are unable to attend and would like access to the recording, please contact us and we will share a link with you once it is ready. ] 

Justus Sturtevant
Kristin Bolton
Jeff Rehbach

The Sun You Don’t See 
Instructor: Rich Wolfson, Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Middlebury College
Date: April 2, 2024
Time: 2-3 p.m.
Location: Kirk Alumni Center, Middlebury College
Cost: Pay what you can / suggested donation: $20

Description: The Sun is the brightest object in our sky, a steady source of energy for nearly all life on Earth, and the primary driver of Earth’s climate. That’s the Sun we do see. But there’s another Sun that we don’t see. We won’t see the everyday Sun when it’s behind the Moon during April’s total solar eclipse, but if we’re lucky we’ll see the Sun’s corona—an extended solar atmosphere that reveals complex and ever-changing solar phenomena. These phenomena occur frequently, eclipse or not, and they influence Earth and human society in more subtle and variable ways than does the steady flow of sunlight. This class will explore April’s solar eclipse and the “Sun You Don’t See.”

Instructor: Rich Wolfson is Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Middlebury College. He has a B.A. in physics and philosophy from Swarthmore, a master’s in environmental studies from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in physics from Dartmouth. He researches the Sun, climate change, and solar energy. His books Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified and Nuclear Choices for the Twenty-first Century: A Citizen’s Guide exemplify Wolfson’s interest in making science accessible. He’s written several textbooks, including Energy, Environment, and Climate, has published in Scientific American and World Book Encyclopedia, and has produced six video courses for The Great Courses series. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.