History Colorado shares that on July 29, 1878, a rare total solar eclipse crossed Colorado and lured to the West many of the era’s great scientists—who came seeking answers to the mysteries of the sun and solar system.
Based on five years of original archival research, Boulder author David Baron tells the tale of this influential event in American science and shares the stories of some remarkable people who witnessed it. Among the prominent eclipse chasers in 1878 were Vassar astronomer Maria Mitchell, who headed an all-female expedition to Denver, and a young Thomas Edison, who observed the eclipse from southern Wyoming. Learn more on September 18 at History Colorado’s Lecture Series: The Great Eclipse of 1878, click here for more details.
From History Colorado: Representatives of the U.S. Naval Observatory, Johns Hopkins University, and West Point monitored the eclipse from the Teller House rooftop in Central City. Colorado mining towns’ high altitude and thin atmosphere — combined with cooperative weather — allowed for prime viewing of the eclipse, July 29, 1878. Courtesy U.S. Naval Observatory Library.