Eclipses, through the years

first_imgEclipses like the one coming Monday have mystified and intrigued humans for millennia. They also fascinate Harvard researchers, who have long studied them to better understand the workings of the sun and the solar system.In the early years of Harvard College, founded in 1636, most astronomical work occurred in the math department. That changed in 1839, when William Cranch Bond was hired as the “Astronomical Observer to the University.” His arrival led to founding the Harvard College Observatory, which might not have happened if not for an eclipse.John Adams Whipple created a daguerreotype of the partial eclipse of 1851 at the observatory in Cambridge. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerBond viewed his first solar eclipse when he was 17 years old, and the experience jump-started his interest in astronomy.Since its inception, the observatory has dispatched expeditions into the path of total solar eclipses to study the sun’s corona and the inner solar system. Armed with telescopes, notebooks, cameras, and various bulky, eccentric experimental devices, the scientists have set out to understand a fundamental cosmic beauty. A team of Harvard scientists will be stationed in Kentucky for Monday’s much-anticipated total solar eclipse.In 1869, Harvard sent a team to Shelbyville, Ky., to record a solar eclipse on a sequence of glass plates. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe first solar-eclipse expedition was to Lilla Edet, Sweden, in 1851. George Phillips Bond, son of William Cranch Bond and the observatory’s second director, was nearly clouded out. Disheartened, he had given up on observations until an hour before the event began.The clouds broke just in time, and Bond witnessed majesty. He sketched two diagrams of totality, coloring the “rosy prominences” that entranced him.“Language is utterly powerless … I cannot picture a sight more awfully glorious on this side of heaven,” Bond wrote of the experience.Not pleased with how “flat” the corona looked in photographs, William Pickering sketched how he envisioned the 1869 Shelbyville eclipse coming down on the plate as he prepared for an 1886 eclipse expedition to Grenada. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThese were rudimentary years for science. Bond had traveled to the site alone, and had borrowed his only telescope from a local observatory. But as the physical sciences grew in sophistication and researchers came to appreciate the potential of photography as a recording tool, scientists launched expeditions more often and with more complexity, taking with them cameras and scientific instruments.The partial eclipse of 1851 was recorded at the observatory in Cambridge by daguerreotypist John Adams Whipple. Such early photography was not a simple process. The participating astronomers and photographers all had jobs in the process: whether watching the boundaries of the sun for moments of contact, calling out the time, preparing photographic mirrors, exposing them to the image, or speeding them off for developing.A glass plate image of totality of the 1889 eclipse in Willows, Calif. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThese early eclipse photographers did not aim to represent the beauty of an eclipse, but to capture the image so scientists could parse the event’s details afterward.In 1869, Harvard sent a team to Shelbyville, Ky., to record a solar eclipse on a sequence of glass plates. The images of totality were striking, but not entirely satisfying. When William Pickering, an astronomer who worked at the Harvard College Observatory, later studied the images in preparation for an 1886 expedition, he described the corona as “flat” and wanted to better capture its wispy grandeur. With some adjustments to his instruments and methods, he was able to capture a stronger image in Willows, Calif., in 1889.Eclipse camp setup in Gray, Maine, for the Aug. 31, 1932, eclipse. Courtesy of Wolbach LibraryAs the capabilities of photography expanded, so too did the complexity and variety of instruments that were brought on expeditions. Each telescope and each camera needed an operator during the fleeting phenomenon. That made for large teams, usually 15 to 20 people. Their camps often took at least three days to establish and rig, becoming curiosities in local communities. Residents would gather around in crowds to chat or hear public lectures or to catch a glimpse of science in action.For the upcoming eclipse, as a century ago, Harvard scientists will be stationed along the path of totality to observe and study the sun, with one team observing it from a Gulfstream aircraft at 50,000 feet over Kentucky. The instruments and circumstances change, but the hunt for knowledge continues.To read more about the history of Harvard College Observatory solar eclipse expeditions, click here.last_img read more

Beam setting over I-74 in Decatur County starts Thursday

first_imgSt. Omer, IN— Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Beaty Construction plans to conduct intermittent stoppages on I-74 on Thursday and Friday this week (June 4-5) near St. Omer in Decatur County. Beam setting will take place as part of a $1.2 million superstructure replacement project on C.R. 700 N. over the interstate that began earlier this year.Starting as early as 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, all lanes of I-74 EB will close west of Greensburg near the C.R. 700 N. overpass for up to 20 minutes. Traffic will be held and then released until normal flow is reached. Stoppages will take place throughout the day for up to 12 hours. Beam setting will continue over I-74 WB on Friday, with stoppages also beginning around 6:30 a.m. Motorists are encouraged to seek an alternate route to avoid delays or allow extra time when traveling through the area.Work will continue on the project through late September and C.R. 700 N. will remain closed. The official detour route follows C.R. 580 W. to C.R. 1050 S. to C.R. 1000 W.Drivers should slow down, use extra caution, and drive distraction-free through all work zones. All work is weather dependent and schedules are subject to change.last_img read more

Gateway High school basketball coach resigns amid charges

first_imgTRAFFORD, Pa. (AP) – A prominent Western Pennsylvania high school basketball coach has resigned after police charged him with making threats and harassing a neighbor.The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/1zo2FT6 ) reports that Gateway coach Mitch Adams resigned Sunday. Adams led the team to championships in 2011 and 2012, and had been a basketball coach at the school for nine years.The 56-year-old Adams told the newspaper he’s innocent, but he didn’t want the issue to become a distraction for the school and the team.Adams was charged by Trafford police on Aug. 11 over an incident that occurred near his home on July 13. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23.Gateway athletic director Randy Rovesti says the school thanks Adams for his years of service, and wishes him well.last_img read more

Watch: Carlos Vela humiliates entire San Jose Earthquakes’ defence before scoring into an open…

first_imgAdvertisement 2qff1NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs3o19yWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E7n8q( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 2zsyWould you ever consider trying this?😱1ycCan your students do this? 🌚akooRoller skating! Powered by Firework LAFC superstar Carlos Vela is having a remarkable season with the Los Angeles club since his move from Real Sociedad. The Mexican netted 26 goals in 25 games this season, which includes a brace against San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday. The black and golds kicked off in style, with left winger Diogo Rossi scoring in the 6th minute. Eight minutes later, Vela doubled their lead through a penalty. But his best was yet to come as he added one more to his name in a spectacular fashion.Advertisement Zlatan Ibrahimovic may claim he’s the best MLS has seen so far, but Vela has been more effective to his team. He has 18 more goals and assists than the Swedish megastar in the MLS this season, so the stats here aren’t lying about who’s the better player right now. The former Arsenal striker has scored outstanding goals for Los Angeles in 2019 and added another one to his collection last night by completely humiliating San Jose’s defense. After a quick dummy with the ball, Vela skipped past two defenders, rounded off the goalkeeper and then sent another defender sliding before finding the back of the net. You can check out the golazo here:Advertisement LAFC are top of the Western Conference by 19 points and the skipper has almost single-handedly taken his team to that position. There were some comparisons between the Mexican and the Swede this season in and Ibrahimovic claimed they can’t be compared because of where they played in their primes, whereas Vela said the numbers speak for themselves.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more