AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 15. HAD IV: New Views of Historical Topics
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[15.02] The Road to Wadesboro: Site Selection for Expeditions to Observe the 1900 Solar Eclipse

T. English (Guilford Tech. Comm. Coll), G. Riggsbee (Charlotte Am. Ast. Soc.)

One of the first committees of the AAS was formed by George Ellery Hale to organize preparations for the solar eclipse visible across the southeastern United States on 28 May 1900. Hale attempted to coordinate the efforts of all American astronomers who planned to travel to observe the event, so as to maximize the useful scientific data. Observers were spread throughout the southeast, but several major expeditions chose the small North Carolina town of Wadesboro. This convergence included many of the pioneers of American astrophysics, including Hale himself, S. P. Langley, C. A. Young, and a young Henry Norris Russell.

The presentation will review the events at Wadesboro, the groups represented there (including Yerkes, Smithsonian Institution, Princeton, British Astronomical Association, and Vassar), and will discuss the factors and decisions that led so many astronomers to choose the site.

This research has been supported in part by the Herbert C. Pollock Award of the Dudley Observatory.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: englisht@gtcc.cc.nc.us

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