solar eclipse

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Postmaster General Harry Stewart New watches the solar eclipse of January 24, 1925, shielding his eyes with a photographic plate. Image: Wikimedia commons

During a total solar eclipse that occurred in 1925 in Manhattan, according to Space.com, “the streetlights turned on, three women fainted, vendors sold smoked glass while exhorting passersby to ‘save your eyes for 10 cents’ and seagulls landed in the water, assuming it was night.” Though today’s eclipse will be only a partial version for New Yorkers, we know enough about the moon’s orbit to accurately predict an eclipse’s timing as narrowly as a city block’s distance. At the time, though–long before anyone had landed on the moon, observing and measuring the shadow as it moved over the Earth provided important information on the moon’s size, shape and path.

Find out what happened next

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