a portrait of Dr. Angela Speck in her office overlaid with a map of the constellations and a globe
Trinity Announces 2023 Distinguished Scientist Lecturer
Professor and chair of astrophysics at UTSA to present on solar eclipses

Angela Speck, Ph.D., will present a lecture titled “In The Moon’s Shadow: Solar Eclipses Over San Antonio” as part of Trinity University’s Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series. This series brings pioneering U.S. and international scientists to Trinity to discuss their insights and research discoveries. Speck’s lecture will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, in the Chapman Auditorium (room 152) and is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required.

Speck, professor of astrophysics and the chair of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), will discuss both the annular solar eclipse that will occur on October 14 and the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, in her lecture with a Q&A session to follow. Both of these eclipses will cross North America, with San Antonio/Central Texas as the only region in the crosshairs of both. A self-described “empress of the eclipse” and a popular science communicator, Speck’s research focuses on infrared astronomy and space dust. 

Speck’s lecture is part of a wider schedule of Space Week events hosted by Trinity from October 3-14 to celebrate the annular eclipse. Stay tuned to events.trinity.edu for more information about other Space Week festivities.

Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, Speck was inspired to study physics by the Apollo space program and by the Star Trek television and movie franchise. She received her bachelor’s degree in astrophysics at Queen Mary University of London and her doctorate in astronomy from the University College London, where she researched the dust and molecules around evolved stars.

In 2002, Speck joined the University of Missouri as a visiting professor. In her early years there, she built the astronomy program and organized a public outreach program called Cosmic Conversations. In 2009, she was promoted to director and professor of astronomy. Speck arrived at UTSA in 2019.

Speck has been described by PBS as the "scientist in the forefront of educating the public" about the solar eclipse. She has served as co-chair of the National Total Solar Eclipse Task Force, and she has worked with the NASA Heliophysics Science Division to share information about the eclipse. 

The Trinity University Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series is made possible through an endowment by the Walter F. Brown Family of San Antonio. 

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