Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BOOK: American Eclipse by David Baron

American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron, read by Johnathan Yan (8 h 43 min)

How timely! I found this on the 'just added' of my library's audiobook collection, and was able to borrow it immediately last week. Thus, I was able to listen to it during the craziness of the most recent eclipse. 

American Eclipse investigates the hoopla surrounding the 1878 eclipse similar to this years. American scientists used the event to stake their seat at the world's science table, in particular, following Thomas Edison, James Craig Watson, and Maria Mitchell. (see previous books with Edison, and Mitchell)

Lots of interesting tangents and rivals as each scientist plans to attend the eclipse. With Mitchell, the role of women in science. Times have changed and much can be related back to Maria Mitchell and her determination. Edison still comes off as an arrogant idiot, but he did invent a lot of stuff. Watson was one I wasn't familiar with. He was looking for the planet Vulcan, believed to travel closer to the sun than Mercury and so unable to be seen. He thought he found it, but luckily died before Einstein was able to disprove the 'planet'. 

The eclipse here in PEI was only about 35%. We made a pin hole camera and were able to see the bit we could. Apparently, the next big North American full solar eclipse will be perpendicular to this one and the totality will pass through western PEI in 2024. See y'all then!