Then Eclipse vs Now Eclipse

Here’s a picture of the total solar eclipse of 1900 taken from USA.

1900 Eclipse, Photo: Thomas Smillie

To capture this image, scientists loaded several railroad cars with scientific equipment and travelled from Washington D.C. to Wadesboro in North Carolina, where they had calculated would be the best location in North America for viewing this total solar eclipse.

Called the Smithsonian Solar Eclipse Expedition, they hoped to record photographic proof of the solar corona for further study.

The team included Smithsonian photographer Thomas Smillie, who headed up the missions photographic component. Smillie rigged cameras to seven telescopes and successfully made eight glass-plate negatives, ranging in size from eleven by fourteen inches to thirty by thirty inches. At the time, Smillies work was considered an amazing photographic and scientific achievement.

Today, besides powerful radars on ground, we have satellites orbiting in space specially to study the Sun, such as SOHO (SOlar and Heliospehric Observatory) and STEREO (Solar TErrestrial Relations Observatory), just to name a couple.

As for capturing eclipses, besides the sophisticated equipment of professional astrophotographers, solar eclipse buffs and media crew, we have digital cameras and handicams.

Thousands and thousands of them will surely be pointed to the sky come Wednesday morning.

"Oooh" Photo: Carlos Fernández


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