Science: The Practical Astronomers

Much of astronomy is an abstract science, as remote from life as the farthest star. But astronomers can sometimes be as practical as bricklayers. Last week, under programs sponsored by the Navy and the Air Force, the practical astronomers were busy building two giant coronagraphs—telescopes that can make their own solar eclipse (TIME, Nov. 18, 1946). With their new gadgets, the stargazers will use the sun as a vast atomic laboratory. Shielded from the blinding light of the sun itself, they will be able to study the fireworks that sparkle continuously in the thin atmosphere around the sun's outer edges.

Cameras will...

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