This Is the First-Ever Photo of a Total Solar Eclipse

Source: Time

Aug 11, 2017

Millions of Americans will see a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, and many of them will point their cameras skyward to capture the celestial event.

But it wasn’t so long ago that a solar eclipse was an even more fleeting phenomenon, experienced only by those who were lucky enough to witness it in person. That changed on July 28, 1851, when the first photo of a total solar eclipse was taken. Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski, a Prussian known for his ability as a daguerreotypist, captured the image during a total solar eclipse in Königsberg, which is now Kaliningrad, Russia, according to Space.com.

The Royal Prussian Observatory commissioned Berkowski to capture the photo of the eclipse, Space.com reports. Berkowski used the daguerreotype process to create the image, which was “state of the art” back in 1851, according to astrophysicist and eclipse expert Fred Espenak.

Oldest Eclipse Photography
The oldest photo of a total eclipse is shown at the observatory of Jena University, Germany, 26 May 2003. Jan-Peter Kasper—dpa/AP 

The process begins with a silver-coated copper plate, which is buffed and polished until it resembles a mirror and is then made light-sensitive with chemicals, according to Space.com. Next, the plate is placed inside the camera and exposed to the scene that the photographer wants to capture. The light from that scene, in this case the moment of the total solar eclipse, leaves behind a hidden image on the copper plate. To make that image visible, it’s treated with mercury vapor in the dark, which removes the plate’s light sensitivity. When the black-and-white image has appeared, the plate is rinsed and framed behind glass. In Berkowski’s day, this process probably took about 15 minutes.

Read more

Categories: Science, The Muslim Times

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s