Science

5 Books to Prep You for the Great American Eclipse

Astronomy buffs started making plans years ago to see the total solar eclipse that will arc through America on August 21. But if you’re just getting curious about all the hype and want to know more, it’s time to hit the bookstore. It’s not too late for eclipse procrastinators to participate in this awe-inspiring event. Here are five books that detail the history of eclipses, give tips for viewing them, and even delve into what to do if you become an eclipse-chasing addict.

Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon That Changed the Course of History

Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon That Changed the Course of History

Hardcover $24.95

Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon That Changed the Course of History

By Duncan Steel

Hardcover $24.95

Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon that Changed the Course of Historyby Duncan Steel
Although we now know the scientific reason for eclipses, it’s hard to resist thinking that the total solar eclipse is somehow…portentous. In his in-depth book, released in a new edition in time for the great American eclipse, Duncan Steel details historical eclipses and the portents that were ascribed to them. “Solar eclipses have been interpreted as evil omens by many civilizations because the life-giving sunlight is obscured for a few minutes, producing a profound effect upon all under the celestial shadow,” he writes. Based on Biblical references to a dark and blood-red moon following the crucifixion of Jesus, Steel hypothesizes that a lunar eclipse followed it. Stonehenge may have been built to help predict eclipses. Christopher Columbus knew an eclipse would be visible in 1504, and used this to manipulate the Native Americans he encountered. Steel’s book is a fascinating tour through the history of eclipses.

Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon that Changed the Course of Historyby Duncan Steel
Although we now know the scientific reason for eclipses, it’s hard to resist thinking that the total solar eclipse is somehow…portentous. In his in-depth book, released in a new edition in time for the great American eclipse, Duncan Steel details historical eclipses and the portents that were ascribed to them. “Solar eclipses have been interpreted as evil omens by many civilizations because the life-giving sunlight is obscured for a few minutes, producing a profound effect upon all under the celestial shadow,” he writes. Based on Biblical references to a dark and blood-red moon following the crucifixion of Jesus, Steel hypothesizes that a lunar eclipse followed it. Stonehenge may have been built to help predict eclipses. Christopher Columbus knew an eclipse would be visible in 1504, and used this to manipulate the Native Americans he encountered. Steel’s book is a fascinating tour through the history of eclipses.

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

Hardcover $27.95

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

By David Baron

In Stock Online

Hardcover $27.95

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the Worldby David Baron 
On July 28, 1878, a solar eclipse plunged a swath of America from Montana to Louisiana momentarily into darkness. America was just thirteen years past its Civil War, and looking to the heavens for signs of what it might become. Baron writes that his book describes “how an unfledged young nation came to embrace something much larger than itself—the enduring human quest for knowledge and truth.” At the time, American science was considered inferior to European endeavors, and the eclipse provided American scientists a chance to prove their mettle. The eclipse brought many East Coast visitors to the West, where they discovered that it was not the wild, untrammeled place they had imagined, but a land where civilization flourished in such burgeoning towns as Denver.

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the Worldby David Baron 
On July 28, 1878, a solar eclipse plunged a swath of America from Montana to Louisiana momentarily into darkness. America was just thirteen years past its Civil War, and looking to the heavens for signs of what it might become. Baron writes that his book describes “how an unfledged young nation came to embrace something much larger than itself—the enduring human quest for knowledge and truth.” At the time, American science was considered inferior to European endeavors, and the eclipse provided American scientists a chance to prove their mettle. The eclipse brought many East Coast visitors to the West, where they discovered that it was not the wild, untrammeled place they had imagined, but a land where civilization flourished in such burgeoning towns as Denver.

Over 1,000 Places to see the Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017: City, State & National Parks, Campgrounds & Attractions, Road Trip Planning

Over 1,000 Places to see the Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017: City, State & National Parks, Campgrounds & Attractions, Road Trip Planning

Paperback $19.95

Over 1,000 Places to see the Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017: City, State & National Parks, Campgrounds & Attractions, Road Trip Planning

By Craig Shields

In Stock Online

Paperback $19.95

Over 1,000 Places to see the Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017: City, State & National Parks, Campgrounds & Attractions, Road Trip Planningby Craig Shields
If you haven’t yet made hotel or campground reservations or plans for the eclipse, this guide could help you figure out where to see it. It will take some forethought—experts are predicting it could be the biggest tourism event ever for Nebraska alone, possibly bringing half a million people to the Cornhusker state. Since many of the best places to view the eclipse are off the beaten path, this book includes GPS coordinates and a QR code that you can scan with your smart phone to launch a map to the described location.

Over 1,000 Places to see the Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017: City, State & National Parks, Campgrounds & Attractions, Road Trip Planningby Craig Shields
If you haven’t yet made hotel or campground reservations or plans for the eclipse, this guide could help you figure out where to see it. It will take some forethought—experts are predicting it could be the biggest tourism event ever for Nebraska alone, possibly bringing half a million people to the Cornhusker state. Since many of the best places to view the eclipse are off the beaten path, this book includes GPS coordinates and a QR code that you can scan with your smart phone to launch a map to the described location.

Totality: Eclipses of the Sun

Totality: Eclipses of the Sun

eBook $21.99 $28.99

Totality: Eclipses of the Sun

By Mark Littmann , Fred Espenak , Ken Willcox

In Stock Online

eBook $21.99 $28.99

Totality: Eclipses of the Sun, by Mark Littman, Fred Espenak, and Ken Wilcox
This comprehensive guide to solar eclipses explains why they happen, why people are so enthusiastic about seeing them, remarkable historical occurrences connected to them, and the best way to witness, photograph, and videotape them. Totality includes many tips for the best ways to enjoy your time in the midday dark.

Totality: Eclipses of the Sun, by Mark Littman, Fred Espenak, and Ken Wilcox
This comprehensive guide to solar eclipses explains why they happen, why people are so enthusiastic about seeing them, remarkable historical occurrences connected to them, and the best way to witness, photograph, and videotape them. Totality includes many tips for the best ways to enjoy your time in the midday dark.

Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser

Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser

Paperback $29.99

Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser

By Kate Russo

In Stock Online

Paperback $29.99

Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser, by Kate Russo
Some people consider the August 21 total solar eclipse to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but others might become so moved by the experience that they begin to orient their lives around seeing another and another one. Russo describes the feeling of awe inspired by the eclipse that leads some to develop an addiction to chasing them, and profiles some inveterate eclipse chasers.
Are you traveling to see the upcoming eclipse?

Total Addiction: The Life of an Eclipse Chaser, by Kate Russo
Some people consider the August 21 total solar eclipse to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but others might become so moved by the experience that they begin to orient their lives around seeing another and another one. Russo describes the feeling of awe inspired by the eclipse that leads some to develop an addiction to chasing them, and profiles some inveterate eclipse chasers.
Are you traveling to see the upcoming eclipse?