Where Does the Solar Eclipse Stand in History?

by | Jan 31, 2017 | Eclipses

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The solar eclipse is a mostly harmless event, even though history tells you that it brings death and devastation. You will need a solar eclipse viewer to safely watch the occurrence, to protect your eyes from the sun’s dangerous UV rays, which could burn your eyes causing partial or long-term damage. Scientists have been involved with solar eclipses throughout history.

Helium Is Not Just for Making Funny Voices

Jules Janssen, an astronomer from France, and Norman Lockyer, a British scientist, observed a solar eclipse on August 16, 1868. This was the day they discovered and named the second most abundant element and the second lightest; helium. They named their discovery after Helios, the Greek word for the sun. It is not known which safe solar eclipse viewer they used that day.

Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

You may have discovered this theory at school and years later wonder what it was all about. In 1919, on May 29, there was a total solar eclipse. The mathematician and astronomer, Sir Arthur Eddington from Britain, tested the theory of general relativity. He was taking photographs of stars around the sun and could prove refraction, which is gravity bending light.

There are some solar eclipses that standout in history. During July 2009, the 21st century recorded the longest total solar eclipse, managing six minutes and 39 seconds. Far earlier, in 1851, Borkowski, the Prussian photographer took the first ever photograph of the sun’s corona.

Whether you wish to place yourself in history or just observe the brilliance of a total Eclipse, you will need to ensure that a high quality solar eclipse viewer is used to protect your eyes from the sun. You can purchase high-quality models from companies that have sold millions of eye protection viewers, but do not continue your journey surfing the Internet and making your own eye protection, because it will almost certainly not meet the required standards to protect your eyes effectively.