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Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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One of Amazon's Best Science Books of 2016
"Few books have been as valuable to eclipse chasers as this one. In Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets, astronomer Tyler Nordgren delivers a comprehensive history of the science and cultural fascination with these almost magical events... It is a niftily written narrative that will entertain, inform, and get your juices flowing for next year's big event."―Astronomy.com
"When the moon clips our view of the sun or our own shadow blots out our satellite, we experience it with the benefit of millennia of knowledge. We know years in advance when an eclipse will happen, where on the planet it will be visible and, perhaps most importantly, that the world will not end because of it. Our ancestors were not so well-prepared. Astronomer and physicist Nordgren charts the path our species has taken from terror to scientific understanding, and he's done it with and clarity."―Discover
"On 21 August 2017, the United States will experience its first total solar eclipse in 40 years. Astronomer Tyler Nordgren's primer maps essentials for that event, contextualized by a fascinating history that sweeps us from Anaxagoras' explanation of eclipses in the fifth century BC to Arthur Eddington's test of Einstein's theory of general relativity during the May 1919 total eclipse. Nordgren is a wonderful guide to both the science and the sensory thrills."―Nature
"Nordgren, an astronomer at the University of Redlands in California, has spent a lifetime explaining solar-system geometry to people who rarely contemplate their place in the universe. His experience with clarity makes this the best general-interest entry point."―Dallas Morning News
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Thanks to Tyler Nordgren's fine book and also NASA's website, we knew what to watch for and we paid very close attention. In just 2 minutes and 38 seconds it was over. The temperature had dropped about 15 degrees. After it was over, we were still awestruck and a bit dazed by what we had just witnessed. There was an intense longing for a repeat performance—a kind of odd sense of abandonment—Eclipse, come back!
I now understand why people "chase" total eclipses. It's worth a journey, if it's feasible, to have such a rarefied experience and to share it with others. Hopefully our family will all be together to see the next total eclipse over the US on April 8, 2024, which will be visible in totality in a pathway much closer to our home.
The great illustrations and photographs, scientific information, and history and folklore included in this book enriched our experience.
I am hooked. Thank you, Tyler Nordgren, for your wonderful book!
First this isn't so much "history" as it is introductory science. That's fine but I was expecting most of the chapters to talk about how solar eclipses have been seen by humans and inspired them in art, religious, science,etc. I wanted to learn more about events in human history impacted by solar eclipses in more than the one chapter.
Second I think the description of what the totality would like like was misleading. More information about environmental and weather's influence on what we would see was needed because we ended up being disappointed.