Solar Eclipse
Eclipse Expeditions: Journal Excepts and Photographs 1858-1918

Journal Excerpts


The Exploratorium's 1998 expedition may have been the first to provide a Webcast of total solar eclipse via satellite, but the trip itself was just another in a series of excursions documenting these unique events. Starting in the mid-nineteenth century, the colonial powers of Europe and the United States sent expeditions all over the globe to observe solar eclipses. Presented here are accounts of a few of those expeditions. (Please use the menu provided on the left column to select these excerpts.)

The excerpts we've selected span nearly fifty years and provide us with a window into the past. The accounts reveal the hardships of travel, and the scientific methods and new technologies of the nineteenth century. The journal entries are more than just scientific accounts, however, they reveal the attitudes and prejudices of the day. While the reports reflect their times, one constant remains--the awe inspired by a total eclipse of the sun.
Solar Eclipses Back