Our Astronomical Column


    THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE or 1876, SEPT. 17–18.—The track of totality in this eclipse is wholly upon the Pacific Ocean, and in such course that only two or three small islands or reefs appear to be situate near the central line. Using the Nautical Almanac elements, which are almost identical with those of the American Ephemeris, wherein the moon's place is derived from Peirce's Tables, St. Matthias Island, west of Admiralty Islands off the north-east coast of New Guinea, is traversed by the central track of the shadow, with the sun at an altitude of 5° at 6h. 16m. A.M. on the 18th local time. Thence skirting Ellice Islands it passes between the Fiji's and the Samoan or Navigator group. to Savage Island, in 170° west of Greenwich, latitude 19° south, which is apparently the only spot where totality may be witnessed under anything like favourable conditions, and even here the duration of totality is less than one minute. The after course of the central line does not encounter any land.

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