Science: Tragic Eclipse

To many astronomers, the most precious moments in the stream of time are the fleeting minutes and seconds of a total solar eclipse, during which they must make their photographs and observations. It is theoretically possible for an occultation of the sun by the moon to last as long as 7 min. 30 sec., but most are several minutes shorter than that. Last year's June eclipse, for example, whose shadow path across Asia was studded with astronomers' observation camps (TIME, June 22), lasted only 2 min. 31½ sec. at maximum. There was...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!