A passion for chasing eclipses around the world for more than a decade has led Griffith Universityalumnus Dr Kate Russo to launch her first book Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser

A clinical psychologist originally from Ingham in North Queensland, but now based in Belfast inNorthern Ireland, Dr Russo has been chasing eclipses around the world for the past 13 years andsays she would never consider missing an opportunity to see one.

Blown away

“I was completely blown away by my first eclipse experience – I had absolutely no idea that youcould have such a strong physical and emotional response to a nearby heavenly body completelyblocking out the Sun,” says Dr Russo, who completed a Masters in Clinical Psychology atGriffith’s School of Applied Psychology in 1997.

“The goosebumps, the overwhelming emotion, the feeling of being connected to something bigger,the rush, the euphoria … I was definitely hooked after my first time, and once I returned home Ithen started my eclipse-chasing ‘career,’ making plans to go see the next one.”

Kate says that one of her favourite eclipses was the total solar eclipse in North QLD on 14November 2012 when more than 60,000 people travelled to north Queensland for the event.

“This eclipse was really special as I was able to share the experience with my family for the firsttime. Coming home for this eclipse also made it very personal — I spoke at many public eventsand in the media to share information before the eclipse, and afterwards I captured the experiencefor locals by doing interviews and a survey.”

Now in her book Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser, Dr Russo explains everythingthere is to know about the total solar eclipse and how it can leave those who experience it withawe, feeling insignificant yet connected to the universe, and feeling like the world has stopped inits tracks.

19 February book launch

Visit her personal website at www.beingintheshadow.com for general information