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Total Solar Eclipse of May 20: Preliminary Reports

    Naturevolume 160page49 (1947) | Download Citation



    Contrary to all expectation, based on the usual weather conditions in May, the expeditions to the west coast of Africa to observe the total solar eclipse of May 20 were uniformly successful, whereas those to Brazil were upset by cloudy conditions. In Santiago in Chile, conditions were cloudy but observations were made from an aeroplane above the clouds. The corona was reported as of the minimum type with equatorial streamers and polar plumes—an unusual form so near sunspot maximum. At Araxá in Brazil, the Czechoslovak party and the Swedish party under Dr. Öhman were clouded out. At Bocayuva, the Finnish party was able to carry out its time observations for the geodetic programme. The party at the same place from the American Geographical Society, the Georgetown University, Washington, and the Yerkes Observatory reports only partial success owing to clouds. Dr. van Biesbroeck secured plates of the star-field around the sun for the Einstein effect, and photographs of the corona and of its spectrum; accurate time observations of the contacts were obtained. Photographs were taken from an A.A.F. B 17 plane flying at 30,000 ft.; also a programme of ionospheric observations was successfully carried through.

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