Colorado Springs man destined to follow sun, chases eclipses

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Almost everyone has heard about the total solar eclipse of the sun by now.

Monday, August 21 is the highly anticipated date, but one Colorado Springs man is probably a little more excited than the rest.

Tom Damon has seen a few solar eclipses in his day. He recalls going to Australia to observe one with his sons.

“It was pitch black,” said Tom Damon.  “I was looking at it from the balcony of my hotel room, people were down in the street below, there as hollering and screaming and ahhhh! Just wild sounds.”

He isn’t just a wild sun chaser, you could say he was destined for it.

“I was born during a total eclipse of the sun,” Damon said. “The doctor said it’ll be a lucky baby.”

Damon was born during the total solar eclipse of the sun in 1930.  His mom told him the story.

“When I was old enough to understand what an eclipse was, my mother told me,  that she was laying there in the hospital bed and looking out the window. It was getting darker and darker,” said Damon. “She thought maybe it was her, because she was laying there in labor. Then after a little bit it started getting lighter and lighter, and when the sun came back . . . there I was!”

Since then, his life has been revolved around the sun, literally.

His family travels all around the word, to capture celestial events through telephoto camera lenses.

He served in the Air Force and worked with NASA monitoring the sun.

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“Somebody was always looking at the sun, looking at weather communications network, they would be watching it continually, we knew would affect military systems and NASA system we would report them immediately,” said Damon.

He retired from the service and became a professor.  He taught astronomy and space environment at Pikes Peak Community College.

Now these celestial events have become a family affair. With a family trip already planned, no doubt the upcoming total eclipse on August 21 will be the same.

“When you look back on all of that, the doctor was probably right that was a lucky guy. I got into Very interesting stuff through my whole life,” said Damon.