Queensland psychologist, author and eclipse-chaser Kate Russo has seen 13 total solar eclipses in 11 countries in six continents – a total of 27 minutes and 52 seconds of her life spent standing in the full shadow of the moon. Eclipse-chasers keep a log of such things. Her first book, Total Addiction, examines the hobby (or compulsion) of eclipse-chasing. “The shadow sweeps in and you get this chill – it’s just amazing,” she says.

Since 2017 she’s been on the American Solar Eclipse Taskforce, helping communities in the path of totality prepare for the solar eclipse in April next year. It’s set to be the biggest astro-tourism event the world has seen. Her astronomical passion has taken Russo to places she never imagined she’d visit, becoming immersed in local communities that suddenly find themselves the focus of the world’s attention. “Travel was my first love, and an eclipse gives meaning to your travel, because you go with a purpose and you share something truly profound with the people around you.”

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