Curated Expeditions

Curated Expeditions is dedicated to observing and experiencing fascinating earthly phenomena

Exploratorium – stories from the path of totality

Exploratorium has selected stories and photographs of historical expeditions to Sumatra, Japan and Spain among others from 1858-1918.

Least like a sunset, it was too sombre and terrible. The pale, broken circle of coronal light still glowered on with thrilling peacefulness, while nature held her breath for another stage in this majestic spectacle.

Well might it have been a prelude to the shriveling and disappearance of the whole world–weird to horror, and beautiful to heartbreak, heaven and hell in the same sky.

Absolute silence reigned. No human being spoke. No bird twittered.

Corona and Coronet: Being a narrative of the Amherst Eclipse Expedition to Japan, in Mr. James’s Schooner-Yacht Coronet, to Observe the Sun’s Total Obscuration, 9th August, 1896 by Mabel Loomis Todd

A drawing of the 1858 total solar eclipse.

A drawing of the 1858 total solar eclipse.

It was a far more imposing sight without than with the telescope, and long has been my experience in the investigation of celestial phenomena, and calm and unimpassioned, at such times, as my temperament has become, the sublime majesty of the scene thrilled me with excitement and humble reverence.

Nor was it less effective upon others. Two citizens of Olmos stood within a few feet of me, watching in silence, and with anxious countenances, the rapid and fearful decrease of light. They were totally ignorant that any sudden effect would follow the total obscuration of the sun. At that instant, one exclaimed, in terror–“La Gloria!” and both, I believe, fell to their knees in awe.

An Account of the Total Eclipse of the Sun on September 7, 1858, as Observed Near Olmos, Peru by Lieut. J. M. Gillis.

This year´s eclipse is going to be webcasted live by The Exploratorium’s eclipse expedition team from the remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwestern China near the Mongolian border. Possibility to follow the phenomena easily at home! In case you will move your body to the total eclipse zone, please send your experience to:, the best stories will be rewarded by an official Capsula eclipse bag!


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