ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Preparing for total solar eclipse, 1860. British astronomer Warren de la Rue (1815-1889), at left, and others preparing to view the eclipse from a temporary observatory in Spain. Photographs from this expedition are thought to be the earliest of participants in an eclipse expedition and it is also thought to be the first concerted effort to observe an eclipse by photography. De la Rue proved from his photographs that the flares around an eclipse were solar in origin. Total solar eclipses (when the Sun is completed obscured by the Moon) usually occur less than once a year, last only a few minutes and can only be seen from a small area of the Earth's surface. Photographed in Rivabellosa, near Miranda de Ebro, in Spain, on 18th July 1860.
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