Blog Post: Total eclipse of the sun, partial eclipse of inequality

Grade Range: K-K
Resource Type(s): Reference Materials
Date Posted: 9/4/2020

“"It was now quick work," Maria Mitchell noted.

"As the last rays of sunlight disappeared, the corona burst out all around the sun, so intensely bright near the sun that the eye could scarcely bear it."

Maria Mitchell brought a team of Vassar graduates—"Vassar girls" as the press called them—2,000 miles to study the July 1878 total eclipse of the sun.

When the moon blocked the sun from view, Mitchell recalled, "Each observer at the telescopes gave a furtive glance at the un-sunlike sun, moved the dark eye-piece from the instrument, replaced it by a more powerful white glass, and prepared to see all that could be seen in two minutes forty seconds."

Those two minutes and 40 seconds of intense study were the culmination of years of work and struggle.”

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