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...