From today’s eclipse viewers to those in 2079: Items sought for special eclipse time capsule

Rik Yeames was ready for this past eclipse many months ahead of time. He’s getting even a longer head start for the 2079 event.

Rik Yeames was ready for this past eclipse many months ahead of time. He’s getting even a longer head start for the 2079 event. Courtesy


Monitor staff

Published: 04-12-2024 3:08 PM

Modified: 04-12-2024 3:46 PM

To mark the impact and excitement of this week’s eclipse, enthusiasts are invited to make contributions to a time capsule that will be buried at the McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center and opened on May 1, 2079, the date of the next total solar eclipse to darken New Hampshire skies.

Rik Yeames, the self-professed unofficial Solar Eclipse Evangelist and driver of the EclipseMobile, is helping to organize the collection of items, noting that those ready to be packed in include the his license plate, ECLPS24, plus other mementos to help future celestial viewers get a sense of what the 2024 event was like – solar eclipse glasses, coins marking the event from both Pittsburg and Houlton, Maine, proclamations and posters, t-shirts, as well as memorabilia from across the country and continent.

Perhaps a bottle or two of whiskey will be included for the kids and young people who were too young to celebrate with a drink after Monday’s event, he said.

What’s planned to be a container roughly three feet in height, length, and width, is set to be buried at the discovery center on May 1 to ensure its reopening will be in exactly 55 years. The metal archival container is planned to be put in a waterproof cement vault to protect the items inside.

 For Yeames, 2079 would find him at the perhaps unfathomable age of 119.

“I think I was more optimistic about having good weather last Monday than I am about reaching 119 years old,” he said. “To live to 119, you have to lead probably the most boring life on the planet. You can’t kill any brain cells, you need all of them. Hopefully, there will be some descendants to toast me in 2079.”

With the likelihood that he too will be in the ground in 2079, Yeames said he’s planning to write notes to his family – his children will be in their 80s to early 90s for the oldest, he said. Yeames has already made them promise they will clear their future schedules for the reopening.

What Yeames is hoping is to plant items in the capsule that kids and young people from today will see again during the 2079 reopening – he’s already set to collect things from some of the local schools.

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For Yeames, who had been seriously planning for Monday’s eclipse for years, the passing of the event doesn’t mean he’s finding a new hobby. There are other eclipses to be seen throughout the world, and he hopes to go abroad to continue to be an ambassador for the cause. His son also is becoming very interested in eclipses, and they plan to see them together.

Other than that, he said he will always be the “pied piper for pizza, peace, and penumbra” – Yeames has been a Domino’s pizza franchisee for several decades.

To contribute items to the time capsule, Yeames said folks can reach out on Facebook, or to the discovery center. He also encouraged those with paper items to have them laminated for durability.