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Science Reference Guides: Solar Eclipses

Lithograph: Appearance of phenomena immediately previous to the end of totality from July 18, 1860.

Print Resources

General Resources: The Sun, the Moon and the Solar System

Alexander, David. The sun. Santa Barbara, Calif., Greenwood Press/ABC-CLIO, c2009.
LC Call Number: QB521.4 .A44 2009 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2009006640

Alexander briefly discusses cultural history associated with the sun, but then focuses on scientific topics related to the sun, including magnetism, sunspots, the solar atmosphere, solar wind, solar storms and space weather. Individual chapters conclude with recommendations for further reading and short lists of relevant websites and the work itself contains an index and an annotated bibliography.

Alexander, Rachel. Myths, symbols and legends of solar system bodies. New York, Springer, 2014.
LC Call Number: QB501.2 .A44 2014 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2014950407

This Practical Astronomy series entry covers beliefs, folklore and symbolism regarding the major solar system bodies from cultures all over the world. Chapters cover the sun, the earth and the moon as well as each of the other planets of the solar system. The entry concludes with a bibliography and index.

Brekke, Pål. Our explosive sun: a visual feast of our source of light and life. New York, Springer, c2012.
LC Call Number: QB521 .B827 2012
LC Catalog Record: 2011941701

Brekke, writing for a lay audience, explains the science behind the sun and space weather. The book includes a number of simple experiments that can be used with included visuals to illustrate various scientific concepts, accessible explanations of some of the ongoing research on the sun, a list of useful resources and an index.

Brewer, Bryan. Eclipse. Seattle, Wash., Earth View, 1991.
LC Call Number: QB541 .B74 1991 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 91217108

Brewer includes a good deal of historical information, illuminative illustrations and diagrams, references and an index in his overview of eclipses.

Cooper, Christopher. Our sun: biography of a star. New York, Race Point Publishing, 2013.
LC Call Number: QB521.4 .C66 2013 – Available in the Science Reference Collection
LC Catalog Record: 2016449259

This well-illustrated “biography” discusses the history of and the basic science behind the sun, along with observers and the scientists who have studied it. It recounts the significance of the sun to the evolution of humanity and human culture.

Couper, Heather, Robert Dinwiddie, et al. The planets. London, New York, Dorling Kindersley, 2014.
LC Call Number: QB601 .C683 2014 – Available in the Science Reference Collection
LC Catalog Record: 2014451572
Thoroughly eye-catching, this visual guide to the solar system includes information on the sun and the moon in addition to the planets. It includes information on missions to both bodies arranged graphically as well as a page on solar eclipses.

Eddy, John A. Sun, the earth, and near-earth space: a guide to the sun-earth system. Washington, D.C., National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2009.
LC Call Number: QB539.T4 E339 2009 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2009376788

This work discusses the sun, the solar wind and solar variability and their changing effects on the earth, its atmosphere, climate and weather and on human life. It lists several sources for further information and includes an index.

Golub, Leon & Jay M. Pasachoff. The solar corona. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
LC Call Number: QB529 .G65 2010 – Available in the Science Reference Collection
LC Catalog Record: 2009030754
In this graduate student level work, the authors discuss the physics of the corona, an outer region of the sun. Phenomena there affect the earth in the form of space weather. Light from the corona is normally obscured by much brighter light from deeper within the sun. During an eclipse, however, the moon obscures the brighter light and the corona briefly becomes visible. Thus, prior to the development of the coronagraph, eclipse observations were used to study the corona. This volume discusses those observations and includes an index and list of resources.

Stroud, Rick. The book of the moon. London, Doubleday, 2009.
LC Call Number: QB581.9 .S77 2009b – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2010673807

Stroud creates a diverse collection of often-esoteric facts on various subjects related to the moon. Subjects covered range from basic scientific information and the history of lunar exploration to moon mapping, mythology, literary quotations and the occult. The book has a short bibliography and an index.

Vita-Finzi, Claudio. Sun: a user's manual. New York, Springer, c2008.
LC Call Number: QB521 .V58 2008 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2008925139

This short guide discusses the history of human involvement with the sun from ancient beliefs to modern satellite observations. Only briefly coving the mechanisms of the sun itself, the book discusses the sun’s effect on climate, life in general and human health. It concludes with short discussions of space weather and solar energy, references and an index.

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General Resources: Eclipses

Aveni, Anthony F. In the shadow of the moon: the science, magic, and mystery of solar eclipses. New Haven, Yale University Press, [2017].
LC Call Number: QB541 .A84 2017 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2016953812

This work discusses eclipses in history with a section on ancient eclipses as well as several chapters on specific more recent eclipses. The work sets itself apart from others, however, with accessible chapters on the significance of eclipses in cartography and timekeeping, and on zoological observations made during eclipses. The work includes chapter notes with bibliographic citations and an index.

Close, Frank. Eclipse: journeys to the dark side of the moon. New York, Oxford University Press, 2017.
LC Call Number: QB541 .C56 2017 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2016946808

Close presents his personal experiences and observations of eclipses along with his recommendations for viewing the 2017 eclipse. The author is a particle physicist and enthusiastic eclipse chaser, but not an astronomer, which gives his account a different perspective than others. The work includes an index, but no more than brief mentions of eclipses post-2017.

Coles, Peter. Einstein and the total eclipse. Duxford, UK, Icon Books; New York, Totem Books, 1999.
LC Call Number: QC173.57 .C65 1999 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 99071119

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity predicts that the space around large bodies such as our sun is curved, and that as a result starlight will bend near the sun. This small work describes how scientists were able to use the opportunity provided by the obscuring of the sun during an eclipse to view the displacement of stars which would otherwise be obscured by the light of the sun. Suggestions for further reading are provided.

Espenak, Fred. Fifty year canon of solar eclipses, 1986-2035. Washington, D.C., NASA, Scientific and Technical Information Office, 1987.
LC Call Number: QB542.5 .E87 1987 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 93118661
Available at:

Fred Espenak, a now retired astrophysicist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, performed the calculations to predict eclipses out to at least the year 3000. Here he provides tables of data and maps of eclipse paths for interested observers for eclipses through 2035.

Guillermier, Pierre & Serge Koutchmy. Total eclipses: science, observations, myths, and legends. New York, Springer, 1999.
LC Call Number: QB541 .G85 1999 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 99019976

This interesting book contains a good deal of information about eclipses and eclipse observations, especially in the twentieth century. It briefly describes observations made by scientists on airplanes, including one in which one of the authors had the opportunity to observe totality for 74 minutes -- by observing from a supersonic Concorde aircraft. The guide contains a bibliography, an index and even a brief computer program, written in BASIC, which calculates eclipse dates.

Huber, Peter J. & Salvo De Meis. Babylonian eclipse observations from 750 BC to 1 BC. Milano, IsIAO - Mimesis, 2004.
LC Call Number: QB19 .H83 2004 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2005485315

Eclipse observations and predictions have fascinated people for thousands of years. This book discusses those made by ancient Babylonians and includes tables and diagrams describing eclipses between 750BC and 1BC with observations and predictions drawn from ancient source material.

Levy, David H. David Levy's guide to eclipses, transits, and occultations. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
LC Call Number: QB175 .L48 2010
LC Catalog Record: 2010016792

Levy’s succinct guide gives an overview of solar eclipses and how to observe them. The author uses his own observations to discuss lunar eclipses, occultations, (when our moon passes in front of a planet or star) and transits, (when a planet crosses the face of the sun or a moon crosses the face of one of the planets). The book includes an index.

Littmann, Mark & Fred Espenak. Totality: the great American eclipses of 2017 and 2024. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017.
LC Call Number: QB541 .L694 2017
LC Catalog Record: 2016947984

This book, by a respected science author and a renowned authority on eclipses, gives a balanced overview of the science of eclipses and the history behind eclipse observations, before going into detail about observing and photographing the eclipse. Chapters discuss in detail where the eclipse of 2017 was predicted to be visible, and then briefly describe eclipses that will occur between 2018 and 2023, before going into detail again over the predicted path for the 2024 eclipse, where the path of totality will once again cross North America. Charts and tables detail upcoming and past eclipses, and there is a bibliography and an index.

Maunder, Michael & Patrick Moore. The sun in eclipse. London, Springer, c1998.
LC Call Number: QB175 .M45 1998 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 97042031

This Practical Astronomy series title was written in anticipation of a 1999 eclipse visible over Cornwall, UK, the only eclipse visible in the UK between 1927 and 2090. In addition to a guide as to where to view this eclipse, it contains information on eclipses in general, a chapter on “Eclipse Mishaps and Oddities” and an index.

Meeus, Jean, Carl C. Grosjean & Willy Vanderleen. Canon of solar eclipses. Oxford, New York, Pergamon Press, [1966].
LC Call Number: QB541 .M4 1966
LC Catalog Record: 64025676

In 1887, Professor Theodor Ritter von Oppolzer published the Canon der finsternisse, or Canon of Eclipses. This work laid out, in a series of tables and maps, the predicted dates, times, locations, durations and characteristics of upcoming eclipses that would occur over the next six hundred years. Meeus, Grosjean and Vanderleen, benefiting from 80 years of refinement of the theories of the motion of the Sun and the Moon, and from early computers, corrected errors in Oppolzer’s work and republished the work in English, covering eclipses from July 1898 to March 2510.

Mitchell, S. A. Eclipses of the sun. New York, Greenwood Press, [1969, c1951].
LC Call Number: QB541 .M5 1969
LC Catalog Record: 69013998

Dr. Samuel Alfred Mitchell (1874-1960), the Director of the Leander McCormick Observatory of the University of Virginia, was one of the foremost eclipse experts of the early twentieth century, participating or leading ten expeditions to observe and study eclipses between 1900 and 1937. Dr. Mitchell first wrote Eclipses of the sun, discussing his research in areas such as spectral imaging of the corona in 1923, then updated and republished it four more times, culminating in a 5th edition in 1951. The Library owns several editions of this title under the call number QB541 .M5 as well as several of Mitchell’s other works under Mitchell, S. A. (Samuel Alfred), 1874-1960.

Montelle, Clemency. Chasing shadows: mathematics, astronomy, and the early history of eclipse reckoning. Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.
LC Call Number: QB175 .M65 2011
LC Catalog Record: 2009943460

This book discusses ancient Mesopotamian, Greek, Indian and Arabic methods of eclipse prediction and the progression of eclipse science and astronomy through time. The work requires knowledge of geometry and mathematical astronomy to fully appreciate, but contains material for those interested in the history of eclipse science as well, a bibliography and an index.

Nordgren, Tyler. Sun, moon, Earth: the history of solar eclipses, from omens of doom to Einstein and exoplanets. New York, Basic Books, 2016.
LC Call Number: QB541 .N67 2016 – Available in the Science Reference Collection
LC Catalog Record: 2016013888

Nordgren discusses the history of eclipse observations in this accessible work. While ancient observations are discussed, the chapters on more recent historical observations and how they fit into the broader worlds of astronomy and theoretical physics do more to set the book apart. The author also discusses his own eclipse observations and briefly describes the path of the 2017 eclipse, which, at the time of publication, was still upcoming. He briefly mentions several upcoming eclipses that may be of interest and includes a page of additional resources and an index. 

Steel, Duncan. Eclipse: the celestial phenomenon that changed the course of history. Washington, D.C., Joseph Henry Press, c2001.
LC Call Number: QB541 .S65 2001 – Available in the Science Reference Collection
LC Catalog Record: 2001039904

This book gives an account of history and science related to eclipses, interspersing both to create a more unified account. The book describes ancient experiences with eclipses and includes a generic guide to viewing eclipses, but is set apart by accessible chapters on American historical eclipse observations and lesser known eclipse phenomena, such as occultations and transits. The book includes an index.

Steele, John M. Observations and predictions of eclipse times by early astronomers. Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, c2000.
LC Call Number: QB175 .S83 2000 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 00037058

The author documents and discusses eclipse records from Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, the Islamic Near-East, Medieval and Early Renaissance Europe, China and Japan from prior to around 1600AD when the invention of the telescope began to make records more precise. The work contains an extensive list of resources and subject and source indices, which make it of interest to any researching historical reports of eclipses.

Westfall, John & William Sheehan. Celestial shadows: eclipses, transits, and occultations. New York, Heidelberg, Springer, 2015.
LC Call Number: QB175 .W45 2015
LC Catalog Record: 2014951681

Westfall and Sheehan broadly cover both lunar and solar eclipses, focusing on relevant history and science but providing some information on making observations and upcoming eclipses. The authors also cover eclipses elsewhere in the solar system, and transits and occultations, similar phenomena in which one astronomical body passes between the observer and a second body. They go into particular detail in describing the events surrounding transits of Venus across the face of the sun, as various instances of that transit have inspired a number of expeditions to distant parts of the globe. The authors provide extensive references as well as recommendations of additional resources and an index.

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General Resources: Making Observations and Photographing an Eclipse

Jenkins, Jamey L. The sun and how to observe it. New York, Springer, 2009.
LC Call Number: QB521 .J35 2009 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2008939373

This guide for amateur astronomers details how to observe the sun via telescope. It is divided into sections on observing the “white light sun” – viewing the sun as it would be seen with the human eye, and sections on the “monochromatic sun” – filtering the view to focus on a particular narrow wavelength of light. The author discusses what features might be seen under these conditions and includes a section on solar photography and an index.

Kitchin, Chris. Solar observing techniques. London, Springer, 2001.
LC Call Number: QB521 .K65 2001 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2001017009

A part of the Practical Astronomy series, this title discusses practical ways an amateur astronomer may use to view the sun and solar eclipses, most especially via telescope. The text covers several safety concerns as well as how to record observations and includes a bibliography and index.

Mobberley, Martin. Total solar eclipses and how to observe them. New York, Springer, c2007.
LC Call Number: QB541 .M63 2007 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2007923647

This book includes general information about eclipses, with more specific information for eclipses through 2028, as well as information on digital photography and useful websites, some of which are no longer quite up to date. However, what sets this book apart are the author’s advice and tips for eclipse chasing based on his own experiences, and his profiles of several of the more well-known eclipse chasers of recent times. The book includes an index and a list of resources.

Pasachoff, Jay M. & Michael A. Covington. The Cambridge eclipse photography guide: how and where to observe and photograph solar and lunar eclipses. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
LC Call Number: QB121 .C69 1993 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 93013054

Much of the information in this guide is out of date as it only covers eclipses of the 1990s. However, it does include several vivid color images which illustrate the memorable sight of an eclipse and demonstrate the potential of eclipse photography.

Spence, Pam. Sun observer's guide. Buffalo, N.Y., Firefly Books, 2004.
LC Call Number: QB521 .S675 2004 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2005280770

Meant for amateur sun observers, this guide includes a special section on analyzing observations along with sections on solar eclipses and professional astronomy, a reference list and an index.

Wilkinson, John. New eyes on the sun: a guide to satellite images and amateur observation. Heidelberg, Springer, c2012.
LC Call Number: QB521.4 .W55 2012
LC Catalog Record: 2011939837

This guide describes the science behind various features of the sun. Some of the focuses of this work are the use of the Hydrogen alpha telescope, a telescope which allows amateur viewing of a particular wavelength of light in which solar prominences appear distinctly, and satellite imagery. To that end, the work goes into more detail about the various probes and satellites imaging the sun and where information from them can be found. The book includes an index.

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General Resources: Eclipse Expeditions & Observation Reports

Eclipses are rare but predictable phenomena. For centuries interested observers and astronomers have mounted expeditions to distant lands, travelling for weeks or months for a glimpse of an event that might last no more than a few minutes.

Baron, David. American eclipse: a nation's epic race to catch the shadow of the moon and win the glory of the world. New York, Liveright Publishing Corporation, [2017].
LC Call Number: Q127.U6 B2755 2017 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2017009679

In a portrait of historical eclipse chasing, Baron tells the story of the “American Eclipse” of 1878, and of the various expeditions, led by scientific luminaries of the time, such as Thomas Edison and Maria Mitchell, which travelled into the mountain west to view it. The book contains a select bibliography, which includes references drawn from the Manuscript Collections of the Library of Congress, and an index.

Pang, Alex Soojung-Kim. Empire and the sun: Victorian solar eclipse expeditions. Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press, c2002.
LC Call Number: QB541 .P36 2002 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2001057661

This work examines the records of eclipse expeditions undertaken from Britain during the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most by the Royal Society, Royal Astronomical Society, or both. It draws upon detailed records to describe eclipse chasing and the practice’s place in astronomy and Victorian science in general. The book includes an index.

Observations from both these expeditions and those astronomers fortunate enough to view an eclipse closer to home have been compiled in observation reports, detailing what was seen. The Library of Congress collections include many of these reports. The following are examples from the larger collection:

Academy of Sciences of USSR. Total solar eclipse of June 19, 1936: report of Soviet expeditions. Moscow, Academy of Sciences Press, 1939-1941.
LC Call Number: QB544.36 .A52 v. 1-2
LC Catalog Record: tmp96029593

The Academy of Sciences of the USSR formed an Eclipse Committee which coordinated 28 expeditions from various Soviet institutions and an education campaign for the June 1936 eclipse. This report details some of the observations made and includes photographs and a number of academic papers derived from observations of the eclipse.

Bigelow, Frank H. Eclipse meteorology and allied problems. Washington, Govt. print. off., 1902.
LC Call Number: QB544 .00 B6
LC Catalog Record: agr09002004
Available via HathiTrust at:

United States Weather Bureau personnel accompanied an expedition to Newberry, SC to view a solar eclipse on May 28, 1900. They monitored the weather conditions as the eclipse passed overhead and noted any variations. They combined their observations with those from numerous weather stations along the path of totality and produced a report on their observations, methods and findings.

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Observations of the total solar eclipse of January 24, 1925, made by electric companies affiliated with the Consolidated gas company of New York. New York, c1925.
LC Call Number: QB544.25C6
LC Catalog Record: 25008354

During the solar eclipse of January 24, 1925, the path of totality passed over New York City. The southern edge of the path of totality was predicted to pass over the center of Central Park. Observers from the New York Edison Company lined up atop buildings facing the Hudson River to determine the actual southern edge of the path and the accuracy of the prediction. In the meantime, the Edison Company and other local power companies monitored the electrical grid to examine the eclipse’s effect on the electrical load. The observations on both issues were summed up in this report. 

Dodwell, G. F. & Kerr Grant. Report of the South Australian expedition to observe the total solar eclipse of September 21st, 1922, at Cordillo Downs, in the far north-east of South Australia. Adelaide, R. E. E. Rogers, Govt. Printer, 1926.
LC Call Number: QB544.22 .D63
LC Catalog Record: 77359911

The September 1922 eclipse was viewed by teams of observers spread across Australia and at Christmas Island. One team journeyed by camel to a sheep station in the South Australian Outback to see the eclipse and subsequently submitted this report.

Joslin, Rebecca R. Chasing eclipses; the total solar eclipses of 1905, 1914, 1925. Boston, Mass., Pub. by Walton Advertising and Printing Co., c1929.
LC Call Number: QB541 .J6
LC Catalog Record: 30005213

An interesting travelogue, this is the account of the author’s attempts, having been inspired by a 1900 eclipse, to see another as well as an example of some of the pitfalls that might waylay an expedition. The author travels from Boston to Spain for a 1905 eclipse, only to be stymied by a cloud passing overhead at the wrong moment. A trip to view a 1914 eclipse in Norway is derailed by the sudden outbreak of World War One. After all of that, the author is finally able to view the 1925 New York eclipse from Norwalk, Connecticut, not far from her Massachusetts home.

Maunder, E. Walter, ed. The Indian eclipse, 1898: report of the expeditions organized by the British Astronomical Association to observe the total solar eclipse of 1898 January 22. London, Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1899.
LC Call Number: QB543.98 I53 1899
LC Catalog Record: s 27000003
Available via HathiTrust at:$b113361

This book details the preparations, observations, experiments and conclusions of one of the Victorian eclipse expeditions, compiled and published by one of the participants. The book includes contributions from several female members of the expedition, marking their contributions and is illustrated with photographs, sketches, diagrams and spectrographic images. It includes an index.

National geographic society. National geographic society - U. S. Navy solar eclipse expedition of 1937 to Canton Island. Washington, 1939.
LC Call Number: QB544.37 N3
LC Catalog Record: 39025293

Totality in the solar eclipse of June 1937 occurred along a path across the Pacific Ocean with few suitable observation points. The National Geographic Society, however, managed to arrange transportation and support from the US Navy for an expedition to Canton Island, a remote atoll in what is now Kiribati. After their return, the society published a technical paper sharing their observations, complete with photographs, and reprints of relevant articles produced for National Geographic Magazine.

Piini, Ernest W. Eclipse over Siberia: a Russian odyssey to the July 31, 1981 total solar eclipse. Belmont, Calif, Dalmo Victor Operations, Bell Aerospace Division of Textron, c1983.
LC Call Number: QB544.81 .P55 1983 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 83191130

A group of eclipse chasers and amateur astronomers travelled to what was then the Soviet Union, visiting a variety of historical sites and attractions. Observing the July 1981 eclipse from near Bratsk, in Siberia, they deployed several home-built experiments and made observations. The author then wrote this work to document both the trip and the eclipse.

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General Resources: Guides to Upcoming Eclipses

With the public today having intense interest in astronomical phenomena, guides are often published to alert people to eclipses that will be visible nearby and explain what they will see. The following are examples from the larger collection.

Chambers, George F. The story of eclipses simply told for general readers, with especial reference to the total eclipse of the sun of May 28, 1900. New York, D. Appleton and company, 1900.
LC Call Number: QB541 .C44
LC Catalog Record: 00000571
Available via HathiTrust at:

The majority of this book consists of a guide to the history of eclipses in general, though the book does include chapters on biblical allusions to eclipses and “strange eclipse customs.” The appendices, however, do contain information on viewing the eclipse of May 28, 1900. Interestingly the English author included only viewing information for Portugal and Spain. Though the eclipse was also visible from New Orleans to Norfolk, and the book published in New York, the publisher simply inserted a note referring Americans to “the Director of the National Observatory at Washington.” The book includes an index.

Curtis, Kim & Brian Jones. Southern Africa's 2002 eclipse: the day the moon ate the sun. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 'amaBooks, 2002.
LC Call Number: QB545.02 .C87 2002
LC Catalog Record: 2002375913

This guide describes a then-upcoming eclipse that was visible in southern Africa on December 4, 2002 with totality occurring along a path from Angola, roughly down the border of Botswana and Zimbabwe, through the northeastern corner of South Africa to Mozambique.

Darkness at noon; or, the great solar eclipse, of the 16th of June, 1806, described and represented in every particular. Boston, Published by D. Carlisle & A. Newell, May, 1806.
LC Call Number: QB543.O6 D3
LC Catalog Record: 06015371

An example of older eclipse literature, this guide was published, according to the author, hastily, at the suggestion of a gentlemen of the author’s acquaintance, to describe an upcoming eclipse. It contains a description of what a viewer should see in Boston and the surrounding area during the eclipse of June 1806, advice about how to observe the eclipse, an explanation of eclipses complete with a suggested demonstration using a ball on a string and a candle, brief mentions of several upcoming eclipses and a list of significant eclipses in history.

Gossman, Julieta Fierro, Jesús Galindo Trejo & Daniel Flores Gutiérrez. Eclipse total de sol en México, 1991. México, D.F., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1991.
LC Call Number: QB544.91 .F54 1991 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 91198959

This Spanish language guide discusses eclipses in the context of an eclipse that was predicted to occur on July 11, 1991. Although during that eclipse totality was visible along a line from Hawaii, through central Mexico and down into Brazil, the guide only discusses viewing locations and likely weather conditions in Mexico.

Littmann, Mark & Ken Willcox. Totality: eclipses of the sun. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1991.
LC Call Number: QB541 .L69 1991 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 90023823
Littmann, Mark, Ken Willcox, & Fred Espenak. Totality: eclipses of the sun. New York, Oxford University Press, 1999.
LC Call Number: QB541 .L69 1999 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 98053239
Littmann, Mark, Fred Espenak & Ken Willcox. Totality: eclipses of the sun. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.
LC Call Number: QB541 .L69 2008 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2008006680
Littmann, Mark, Fred Espenak & Ken Willcox. Totality: eclipses of the sun: updated with guides to total eclipses from 2009 through 2017. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009.
LC Call Number: QB541 .L69 2009 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 2009288706

The 2017 edition of Totality: eclipses of the sun is listed above. However, the guide was first produced by Mark Littman and Ken Willcox for a July 1991 eclipse where the path of totality passed directly over the Big Island of Hawaii, then crossed Mexico, continued down Central America through Colombia and into Brazil. Fred Espenak was added as a contributer for the second edition, which was released in conjunction with a 1999 eclipse that crossed Europe, the Middle East and India. The third edition, out in 2008, added new chapters on eclipses between 2008 and 2010 as well as a chapter on the 2017 “All-American” eclipse. It was followed, in 2009, by an “updated” third edition which pulled the chapter on a now-passed 2008 eclipse for one covering 2012 to 2016. If one is curious to trace the modern practice of eclipse chasing, examining these evolving versions of Totality may prove interesting.

Mauritania Secrétariat général à l'artisanat et au tourisme. Solar eclipse of June 30, 1973: general information. Nouakchott, Mauritania, 1972 or 3.
LC Call Number: QB544.73 .M38 1973 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 74177377

This brief guide describes the conditions in Mauritania ahead of a six minute June 1973 eclipse. It was intended for international travelers rather than locals.

Vignoles, Charles. Observations to accompany the map of the shadow-path thrown by the total eclipse of the sun on the 18 July, 1860 across the north-eastern part of Spain. London, Longman, Green, Longmans and Roberts, 1860.
LC Call Number: QB543.60V
LC Catalog Record: 06014356

This English language travel guide was written to accompany a map identifying locations in Spain where a July 1860 eclipse would be visible. It includes tips on specific locations as well as appendices with memoirs of previous eclipses drawn from the Royal Astronomical Society and instructions on viewing the eclipse from the Royal Astronomer.

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Titles Suitable for Younger Readers

Arnold, Sandra. Child of the sun: a Cuban legend. Mahwah, N.J., Troll Associates, c1995.
LC Call Number: PZ8.1.A7297 Ch 1995 – Stored offsite
LC Catalog Record: 95013230

A folktale attributed to the Ciboney, one of the original peoples inhabiting Cuba.

Hunter, Nick. Eclipses. Chicago, Ill., Heinemann Library, c2013.
LC Call Number: QB541.5 .H86 2013
LC Catalog Record: 2012043047

This item provides very basic information about eclipses and how they may be viewed and includes brief instructions for modelling an eclipse. It does mention the now past 2017 eclipse, but gives an incorrect date!

Owen, Ruth. Solar and lunar eclipses. New York, PowerKids Press, 2013.
LC Call Number: QB541.5 .O94 2013
LC Catalog Record: 2012005286

This book provides age appropriate information about the sun, moon and both solar and lunar eclipses, developing the concepts with appropriate illustrations, but provides little information about actually viewing an eclipse.

Whitethorne, Baje. Sunpainters: eclipse of the Navajo sun. Flagstaff, Ariz., Northland, c1994.
LC Call Number: E99.N3 W57 1994
LC Catalog Record: 94011146

A vividly illustrated tale tells the story of a Navajo boy viewing an eclipse and hearing from his grandfather what it means to his people.

Titles for Educators

Schatz, Dennis & Andrew Fraknoi. Solar science: exploring sunspots, seasons, eclipses, and more. Arlington, VA, NSTA Press, [2015].
LC Call Number: QB46 .S2592 2015
LC Catalog Record: 2015031629

Schatz and Fraknoi offer a number of classroom activities for middle school age students on the motion of the sun, solar activity and solar and lunar eclipses as well as a guide to additional materials for teachers and students, an index and a short guide to the 2017 eclipse.


Pasachoff, Jay M. & Andrew Fraknoi. “Resource Letter OSE-1: Observing Solar Eclipses” American Journal of Physics. 85 (7), July 2017. 485-494. New York: Published for the American Association of Physics Teachers by the American Institute of Physics
LC Call Number: QC1 .A47
LC Journal Catalog Record: 36011639
Article text is available at: [PDF format: 4.2MB / 10 pp.]

Pasachoff and Fraknoi list almost 150 resources, some focused on the 2017 eclipse, but many on eclipses in general. They include links to materials for educators, librarians, children and citizen scientists. Material on solar science appears, as do links to videos, podcasts, and maps. References include both recent and older books.

Print Resources

Image (left): Appearance of phenomena immediately previous to the end of totality, Vincent Brooks, lith.
in: On the total solar eclipse of July 18th, 1860, observed at Rivabellosa, near Miranda de Ebro in Spain by Warren De La Rue London : Printed by Taylor and Francis, 1862
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.


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   April 24, 2018
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