Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/9

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APPLETONS'

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.



MAY, 1900



THE COMING TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN.
By FRANK H. BIGELOW,
PROFESSOR OF METEOROLOGY, UNITED STATES WEATHER BUREAU.

THE circumstance which renders the coming total eclipse of the sun, on May 28, 1900, of special significance to thousands of people who might otherwise entirely overlook the occasion is the fact that the path of the moon's shadow over the surface of the earth, or the track of the eclipse, is in such a convenient locality—namely, in our Southern States—as to render the places of visibility easily accessible. Instead of being obliged to go to the ends of the earth, at a heavy expenditure of time and money, all the while running the risk of not seeing the eclipsed sun on account of prevailing cloudiness, we are fortunate this time to have the show at home in our own country. While many foreigners will be induced to come to the United States to make observations, it is certain that more people will be in a position to see this eclipse with a minimum amount of trouble than has ever happened before in the history of eclipses, at least since the telescope was invented and careful records of the phenomenon preserved.

The track of May 28th enters the United States in southeastern Louisiana; passes over New Orleans, La., centrally; over Mobile, Ala., which is on its southern edge; over Montgomery, Ala., on the northern edge; over Columbus, Ga.; south of Atlanta, Ga., which lies about twenty-five miles to the north of it; near Macon, Milledgeville, and Augusta, Ga., Columbia, S. C, Charlotte, N. C.; over Raleigh, N. C, which is ten miles north of the central lino; and over Norfolk, Va., fifteen miles north of the center. The track is about fifty miles wide in all parts, and the duration of the eclipse