EDUCATION: Victorian Eclipse Chasing

Science  05 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5501, pp. 19B
DOI: 10.1126/science.10.1126/SCIENCE.291.5501.19B

Just as solar eclipses today inspire people to jet halfway around the world, in the 19th century they had a powerful pull, too. The 1878 eclipse inspired Maria Mitchell—the first U.S. woman astronomy professor—to lead an all-women expedition from Vassar College in New York to Denver, Colorado, to witness the event at high altitude. A new educational site chronicles the group's 2000-mile train trip and the world's reaction to the eclipse with clippings from local newspapers and Nature. Aimed at high school students, the site also has teaching plans for a “virtual solar eclipse expedition.”

vassun.vassar.edu/∼physastr/mariamitchell

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