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The Under-Standing of Eclipses
Under-standing of Eclipses 2017


 
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UPDATE - includes charts and data for the eclipse over
North America in August 2017


Four or more eclipses happen every year, but they vary widely: some pass unnoticed, some set people traveling to the remotest parts of the earth, some awe crowds of millions. 2007 has two total lunar eclipses, 2008 a total solar across northern Asia; and the solar eclipse across China in 2009 will be the saros successor of the truly great event of 1991, which set off the boom in eclipse tourism.


This book begins by explaining the groundwork of eclipses, in order to lead up to the sublimity of the experience. There is a double-page spread for each of these representative eclipses, with large dynamic drawings of the turning globe and the shadow sweeping across:

A lunar eclipse: August 16/17, 1989, over North America
A partial solar eclipse: March 7, 1989, over Alaska
A globe-skimming eclipse: October 3, 1986, over Iceland
An annular (ring) eclipse: May 10, 1994, diagonally across the U.S.
A broken-ring eclipse: May 30, 1984, over Greenville, South Carolina
An annular-total eclipse: March 29, 1987, over the South Atlantic
A difficult total eclipse: July 22, 1990, over Finland
A supreme total eclipse: July 11, 1991, over Hawaii and Mexico

There is a deep analysis of the intricate patterns in which eclipses occur, including a "bead-curtain" chart running over 12 pages and making it easy to follow the famous saros cycles, in which eclipses repeat at intervals of 18 years. There are eclipse stories; a census of eclipses by type; a roundup of eclipse quantities (width of tracks, speed of shadows . . . ); tables; a bibliography; and an index. Three of the page-size globe drawings show the paths of eclipses to come, over the American, Eur-African, and Oceanian faces of the Earth.

As you flick through the book, you will see a movie of an annular eclipse on the top of the left-hand pages, and of a total eclipse on the right-hand pages.



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