AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 1. HAD I: Exhibiting the History of Astronomy
Historical, Oral, Sunday, May 30, 1999, 1:00-5:30pm, Adler Planetarium

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[1.08] Halley's Maps and Descriptions of the 1715 Total Solar Eclipse

J. M. Pasachoff (Williams College-Hopkins Obs.)

Edmond Halley was perhaps the first to present eclipse maps to the public in their common current form: looking down on the Earth's surface from above. For the 1715 total solar eclipse that crossed England, he prepared broadsheets showing the eclipse path and describing what would be expected. After the eclipse, he corrected the eclipse path, and added the path and description of the 1724 total solar eclipse. His separate path for the latter resembles the path of the August 11, 1999, eclipse as drawn by Fred Espenak in his NASA Reference Publication. All four of the Halley maps are in the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Halley described observations of the 1715 eclipse in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, including both his own observations and those of other observatories. The need for advising the public about forthcoming eclipses and how to observe them safely continues from Halley's time down to this day.

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