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The Total Solar Eclipse of June 8, 1918

Nature volume 101, page 253 (30 May 1918) | Download Citation



THE “Eclipse Number” of Popular Astronomy (vol. xxvi., No. 5, May) gives special prominence to a number of articles on the approaching total eclipse of the sun visible in the United States. Prof. H. C. Wilson gives a general account of eclipse phenomena and of the circumstances of the eclipse of June 8, to which is appended a series of letters indicating the plans of leading astronomers for observing the eclipse. The shadow first strikes the earth in the Pacific south of Japan, then passes north-westward, and reaches its highest latitude about 500 miles south of the Alaskan coast in long. 152° W.; on its landward course it passes from the western coast of Washington by way of Denver to Florida, the duration of totality on the central line gradually diminishing from 121 to 50 sec. Quite a large number of American astronomers are too fully occupied with war-work to undertake observations, but several well-equipped parties will occupy stations along the track. Ample provision appears to have been made for direct photographs of the corona on large and small scales, as well as for speetroscopic observations, and some of the observers will make special efforts to obtain photographs suitable for testing the deflection of rays of light from stars near the sun which is predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity. Prof. Hale will be in Wyoming with a party from the Mt. Wilson Observatory, and. will attempt to determine the rotation of the corona from displacements of the green coronal line, besides obtaining photographs for studies of the chromospheric spectrum at different levels. Prof. Campbell's programme is somewhat restricted by the delay in the return of the instruments employed by him in Russia in 1914, but some instruments are available for photographs of the corona and of its spectrum.

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