Mask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses

Mask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses

by John Dvorak

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What do Emily Dickinson, slave revolts, Babylonian Kings, and Monticello all have in common? A solar eclipse. Whether it was deciding on the location of a grand home (or castle), inspiring poetry, timing battles and revolts, or planning expeditions, eclipses have inspired fear and fascination. Solar eclipses allowed Ptolemy to determine the length of the Mediterranean and helped Einstein establish his General Theory of Relativity. Preliterate societies recorded eclipses on turtle shells found in "The Wastes of Yin" and on the Mayan "Dresden Codex." Eclipses were later instrumental in the creation of longitude and allowed Hubble to understand the expansion of the Universe (and disprove another theory of Einstein's in the process). John Dvorak, the acclaimed author of Earthquake Storms and The Last Volcano, examines this amazing phenomena and reveals the humanism behind the science. With insightful detail and vividly accessible prose, he provides explanations as to how and why eclipses occur—as well as insight into the eclipse of 2017, which was visible across North America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681773858
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
File size: 15 MB
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About the Author

Dr. John Dvorak, PhD, worked on volcanoes and earthquakes for the U.S. Geological Survey, first at Mount St. Helens, then as a series of assignments in California, Hawaii, Italy, Indonesia, Central America and Alaska. He has written cover stories for Scientific American, Physics Today and Astronomy magazines, as well as a series of essays about earthquakes and volcanoes for American Scientist. Dvorak has taught at the University of Hawaii and lectured at UCLA, Washington University in St. Louis, the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, among others

Table of Contents

Prologue: New York, 1925 xv

1 The Heretic and the Pope 1

2 The Invisible Planets of Rahu and Ketu 19

3 Saros and the Substitute King 37

4 Measuring the World 53

5 The Waste of Yin 73

6 A Request to the Curious 95

7 The Annulus at Inch Bonney 113

8 A Simple Truth of Nature 127

9 Eclipse Chasers 143

10 Keys and Kettledrums 163

11 The Crucifixion and the Concorde 181

12 Einstein's Error 199

13 The Glorious Corona 221

Epilogue Illinois, 2017 235

Appendix An Eclipse Primer 241

Acknowledgments 245

Sources 247

Index 265

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