Eclipses have captured attention and sparked curiosity about the cosmos since the first appearance of humankind. Having been blamed for everything from natural disasters to the fall of kings, they are now invaluable tools for understanding many celestial as well as terrestrial phenomena. This clear, easy-to-understand guide explains what causes total eclipses and how they can be used in experiments to examine everything from the dust between the planets to general relativity. A new chapter has been added on the eclipse of July 11, 1991 (the great Hawaiian eclipse).
Originally published in 1995.
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Table of Contents
Preface to the Paperback Edition
1 Thirty Centuries of Eclipse Watching 1
2 Eclipses Explained 28
3 Time, Tide, and Gravity 41
4 The Chromosphere 56
5 The Solar Corona 76
6 Interplanetary Dust 106
7 The Earth's Atmosphere 129
8 Waves in the Earth's Atmosphere 148
9 A Test of General Relativity 166
10 "I Got Rhythm, You Got Rhythm" 183
11 Future Experiments: Is the Sun Shrinking? 190
12 The Great Hawaiian Eclipse 197