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From 1878 to 2017: A Tale of Two "Great American Eclipses"
The upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 is being called the Great American Eclipse, but it is not the first eclipse to deserve that title.
The upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 is being called the Great American Eclipse, but it is not the first eclipse to deserve that title. In the summer of 1878, when the American West was still wild, hundreds of astronomers and thousands of tourists traveled by train to Colorado, Wyoming, and Texas to witness America’s first “Great Eclipse.” Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak played an important role in that eclipse, an event that changed the direction of American astronomy.
Steve Ruskin is an award-winning historian of astronomy, with a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of two books and over fifty articles, chapters, and reviews. He was a visiting researcher at Cambridge University, England, on a grant from the National Science Foundation. He is on the Board of Advisors for the National Space Science & Technology Institute and is a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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