"Black Suns: An Astrophysics Adventure," a documentary about chasing eclipses and science dreams, chronicles the lives of two globe-trotting astrophysicists, Dr. Alphonse Sterling and Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, as they pursued the two solar eclipses that occurred in 2012. The film is hosted/narrated by award-winning cultural astronomer Dr. Jarita Holbrook. Meet the director, Kelvin Phillips, following the screening. The documentary is screening in the Bergen County Film Festival 2019 on Saturday, 3/16 at 11:30 am, at Teaneck Cinemas. Ticket info can be found here: BergenCountyFilmFestivaltickets. See trailer here.
Dr. Alphonse Sterling, who earned a doctorate in physics at the University of New Hampshire, was a “typical science nerd.” He spent more than 15 years in Japan where he honed his solar physics research. He served as a contractor for the Naval Research Laboratory, worked at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, and served as the NASA liaison for the Hinode (Solar-B) solar satellite project.
Before making his mark in astronomy, Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi—a 2012 TED Global Fellow, and a frequent contributor to the Discovery Channel and National Geographic—faced poverty, gang pressures, and other extreme challenges. He went on to earn a doctorate in physics from Stanford University. Today, on loan from the Florida Institute of Technology, Oluseyi is serving a Space Science Education Manager at NASA in Washington, D.C.
"Black Suns" explores how and why the two men became scientists, their opposing paths and personalities, their struggles as minorities in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field, and their noteworthy accomplishments to date.
Why Is "Black Suns" Important?
"Black Suns" is for a general audience, but it is being created for our future – America’s young people– especially those in underserved communities whose math and science talents might be overlooked. Further, Alphonse and Hakeem exhibit different styles and personalities, dispelling the belief that only one type of person can become a successful scientist. Therefore, by following the two astrophysicists as they chase the two eclipses, it is the filmmakers’ goal to motivate young people so that they seek out their own incredible life journeys.