CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – As part of the ongoing PeayClipse lecture series, Austin Peay State University faculty member Dr. J. Allyn Smith will present a talk titled, “The Secret Lives of Astronomers” at 7 p.m. on July 22, during the City of Clarksville’s Movies in the Park Series, at McGregor Park. The talk will take place prior to the evening’s featured film, “The Secret Lives of Pets.”

The talk will focus on the upcoming eclipse, the phenomenon surrounding the event, eye safety for viewing the eclipse and eclipse activities in the Clarksville area. Additionally, Smith will talk about his ongoing research in Chile and APSU’s involvement in The Dark Energy Survey, a leading international sky survey that involves imaging one-eighth of the total visible sky.

Smith’s talk is the third in a series of events promoting the upcoming Total American Eclipse, which will occur Aug. 21, with Clarksville being one of the cities nearest to the point of greatest eclipse. Austin Peay is celebrating the phenomenon with a series of educational events surrounding the eclipse, coined as the PeayClipse.

During each Movies in the Park event, APSU will sponsor a booth staffed with Eclipse Educators who will be offering solar viewing glasses and special commemorative educational books about the eclipse, along with schedules, eclipse information and safety tips for viewing. The University is offering this in partnership with The City of Clarksville and Montgomery County as a community educational outreach and to inform the community about events that will be held in the Dunn Center and Forterra Stadium on the day of eclipse. For details, please visit


About the speaker:

Dr. J. Allyn Smith is a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Austin Peay State University, finishing his 11th year there. He received his B.S. in General and Molecular Biology; an M.S. in Space Sciences (Atmospheric Physics); an M.S. in Space Technology (Space Systems Operations); and Ph.D. in Space Sciences (Astrophysics), all from the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT).  Following his Ph.D., Dr. Smith held a four-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan where he developed the standard star network for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Dr. Smith specializes in studies of white dwarf stars and uses them to study the structure and evolution of the Galaxy, and for large sky survey calibration purposes.  He is currently working on the calibration of the Dark Energy Survey being conducted in Chile. When not teaching, Dr. Smith is a semi-avid gardener and cat servant.