Happy Total (for those of you in the Path of Totality) Solar Eclipse Day!
Ever wonder how people depicted a solar eclipse before modern photography? The Princeton Art Museum is currently featuring an exhibit of paintings by Howard Russell Butler (1856-1934). Butler was a graduate of Princeton University’s first School of Science. He was also a portrait and landscape painter who founded the American Fine Arts Society.
In 1918 Butler, who had already established himself as a renowned painter of transient phenomena such as sunsets, was invited to accompany the United States Naval Observatory Eclipse Team to Salem, Oregon. At a time when photography was not yet sophisticated enough to capture the nuances of a solar eclipse, Butler’s painting, completed from memory and notes within hours of observing the eclipse, provided an account that astronomers heralded for its scientific accuracy.
|Center panel with image of Bailey's Bead|
The moon and the sun have some stories to tell (smile!).
They sure do, Angela! Thanks for stopping by.
Of course, as the Moon slowly recedes from it's orbit around the Earth...I forget how very little it moves away each year...there will be a little bit more of the Sun visible during each subsequent eclipse. If a painter of the 13th Century had done similar paintings, and they were still available, there might have been less corona showing. I also wonder how much the Sun will swell in subsequent millennia due to it's fuel conversion from Hydrogen to Helium. In a few million years the combined result may be that whatever comes after us might not be able to see all that much difference when the Moon is between Earth and the Sun or is not. Of course that assumes that the Moon hasn't left orbit to explore the Galaxy by then. A sad day for "Romance" authors, even those of the Paranormal-Romance genre. (-:
Makes me glad we won't be around to see that, Vamp Writer. ;-)
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