105-Year-Old Solar Eclipse Chaser Is Ready To Watch His 13th Eclipse


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A post shared by CBS News Texas (@cbsnewstexas)

A man named Laverne Biser has already done what many people would consider impossible. The Fort Worth resident, who was born less than 10 years after the Titanic sunk, has lived to be over 100 years old. In his 105 years of life, Biser has picked up a habit that also makes him special—he has witnessed a dozen solar eclipses, and is preparing to watch his 13th on April 8, 2024, as the Great American Eclipse passes above his home state of Texas.

Biser's first eclipse viewing experience was in 1963, when he packed his bags and traveled to Maine. Since then, the centenarian's love of eclipses has taken him all around the world, including across the continental United States and to other countries, such as Brazil. Biser is also a keen photographer of the solar eclipses he sees, and one of his favorite photos includes one that he took during the 1979 solar eclipse in Williston, South Dakota.

According to Biser, his passion for the stars started in his high school astronomy class. A former mechanical engineer, he has another hobby related to the stars, and that involves building handmade telescopes. The largest in his shop is a behemoth, measuring at over 6 feet tall. In an interview with CBS News, Biser said, “I made the whole thing…I ground a mirror. It can take hours to weeks to ground a telescope mirror.”

The eclipse-chasing veteran also has advice for anyone looking to watch the eclipse on April 8: be sure to watch the entire event, because nothing compares to the moment when you can take off your glasses at totality and look at the eclipse directly. (However, you should keep your glasses on at all times before and after the point of the totality. Otherwise, you may risk severe eye damage.)

“I'm [almost] 106. They don't come but one or two, every couple of years,” Biser said in the same CBS interview. “I may not see anymore. I may not see any more eclipses.”

As for how he has lived such a full life, Biser has advice for that as well. “Not a puff of smoke, not a sip of liquor, not a drug of any kind, and lots of chocolate milk,” he said with a laugh.

Biser's passion for astronomy is contagious, and his story has since made it onto Reddit where users chimed in. One provided a helpful guide for how you too can watch 13 eclipses in your lifetime, provided you start with the one on April 8. Another comment compliments Biser, saying, “I hope to be in half of good of health and spirits as this man at 105.”

105-year-old Laverne Biser is gearing up to watch his 13th solar eclipse on April 8 from the comfort of his own home in Texas.

h/t: [Reddit]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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