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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"Total Eclipses of the Sun is a succinctly written, up-to-date summary of the scientific return from the eclipse experiment. The book is recommended for the advanced amateur and the professional astronomer."--W. Livingston, Science
"One of the most fascinating aspects of eclipse science is the opportunity to test a prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity. In his book Dr. Zirker gives one of the best introductions to these experiments we have ever seen."--Mercury
"A succinctly written, up-to-date summary of the scientific return from the eclipse experiment. The book is recommended for the advanced amateur and the professional astronomer."--Science
"Jack Zirker's work on eclipses is the prime book on the subject that everybody should read. His unique combination of knowledgeable discussion of the science along with anecdotes and description of the eclipse phenomena makes a book that is fun to read as well as educationally useful."--Jay M. Pasachoff, Williams College
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
Hardcover published in 1984 by Van Nostrand Reinhold