Totality: Eclipses of the Sun

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Jul 17, 2008 - Science - 320 pages
A total eclipse of the Sun is the most awesome sight in the heavens. Totality: Eclipses of the Sun takes you to eclipses of the past, present, and future, and lets you see - and feel - why people travel to the ends of the Earth to observe them. Totality: Eclipses of the Sun is the best guide and reference book on solar eclipses ever written. It explains: how to observe them; how to photograph and videotape them; why they occur; their history and mythology; and future eclipses - when and where to see them Totality also tells the remarkable story of how eclipses shocked scientists, revealed the workings of the Sun, and made Einstein famous. And the book shares the experiences and advice of many veteran eclipse observers. Totality: Eclipses of the Sun is profusely illustrated with stunning photographs (many in color) and more than a hundred maps and diagrams. It can be read by lay people and astronomers with ease and enjoyment.

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An amazing book which will enthral amateurs and experts alike. I definitely recommend it.


1 The Experience of Totality
2 The Great Celestial CoverUp
3 A Quest to Understand
4 Eclipses in Mythology
5 The Strange Behavior of Man and Beast
6 Anatomy of the Sun
7 The First Eclipse Expeditions
8 The Eclipse That Made Einstein Famous
16 The Eclipse of July 22 2009
17 The Pedigree of an Eclipse
18 The Eclipse of July 11 2010
19 The AllAmerican Eclipse of 2017
20 Coming Attractions
Epilogue EclipsesCosmic Perspective Human Perspective
Total Annular and Hybrid Eclipses 20082060
Recent Total Annular and Hybrid Eclipses 19702008

9 Modern Scientific Uses for Eclipses
10 Observing a Total Eclipse
11 Observing Safely
12 Eclipse Photography
13 Shadow Camera ActionCapturing an Eclipse on Video
14 Getting the Most From Your Eclipse Photos
15 The Eclipse of August 1 2008
Chronology of Discoveries about the Sun
NASA Solar Eclipse Bulletins
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2008)

Mark Littmann holds an endowed professorship in science writing at the University of Tennessee, where he teaches both science writing and astronomy. He has written several popular astronomy books, including Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System, which won the Science Writing Award of the American Institute of Physics; and Comet Halley: Once in a Lifetime (with Don Yeomans), which won the Elliott Montroll Special Award of the New York Academy of Sciences. His most recent book is the Heavens on Fire: The great Leonid Meteor Storms. He has helped to lead solar eclipse expeditions. Fred Espenak is the most widely recognized name in solar eclipses. He is an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, where he founded and runs the NASA Eclipse Home Page, the most consulted website for eclipse information for people around the globe. Two years before each total solar eclipse he issues a NASA bulletin of technical information, maps, weather data and commentary. Espenak also writes regularly on eclipses for Sky & Telescope and is one of the best known of eclipse photographers. He leads expeditions for every total solar eclipse wherever it is in the world and has done for more than 35 years. In 2003, the International Astronomical Union honored Espenak and his eclipse work by naming asteroid 14120 after him. The late Ken Willcox was a polymer chemist for Phillips Petroleum with a lifetime passion for astronomy. A frequent speaker at astronomical meetings, he also taught physics and astronomy classes at Barlesville Wesleyan College. In 1988, Willcox was elected President of the Astronomical League and he also served on the board of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Willcox witnessed his first total eclipse of the Sun in 1979. That event inspired him to collaborate with Mark Littmann on a comprehensive guide to eclipses in preparation for the great toal eclipse of 1991. The resulting book, Totality: Eclipses of the Sun, was hailed as the best popular reference on the subject ever published. Littmann and Willcox asked Espenak to join them in expanding and updating the second edition of Totality which was published by Oxford University Press in May 1999. Unfortunately, Willcox lost his fight to bone cancer before he could see the second edition in print.

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