As a Black Sun eclipse chaser, I've journeyed to several parts of the globe to view seven total solar eclipses and videotape and photograph them. Total solar eclipses are nature great spectacle and while I have my memories, thoughts, ideas and published photos and videos, I always seek more about the topic. To explore further about this amazing phenomenon, I have stocked my book collection with eclipse related books. One book that I wanted to add to my collection was this book. After seeing the cover and looking inside, I also had to have this book. It is a big book and oversized photographs and illustrations (many that I have never seen before or look remarkably better on a bigger display) integrate well with the content. While the main premise is eclipses: the past, present and future, the two authors have worked together, to create a book which delivers on all accounts. The larger text also makes reading easier and draws you into the celestial information. There are many brilliantly, displayed visuals that include photographs, sketches and illustrations, many which are over sized. These capture the full majesty and grandeur of different aspects of eclipses and many are ones that I have never seen, Journey of an eclipse chaser (Chapter 1), portrays personal accounts and ....
The Story of eclipse,the story of people (Chapter 2), includes a nice set of great examples based on historical accounts and perspectives. .
Songs of the eclipses, and Moon (Ch. 3), waxes poetic and includes information about the integration of the Moon interplay with the Sun. The Dance of the Sun and Moon (ch 4), follows up the previous chapter by focusing more on the Moon and lunar eclipses as well as portraying eclipse paths and uses computer planetarium software to show how an eclipse on the Earth, looks from outer space The Great cosmic clockwork (ch.5), expands to include the interplay of the Moon and planets, including planetary conjunctions. By the light of the eclipses (Ch.6), includes marvelous sketches of various phases of total eclipse of the Sun. Chapter 7, starts with a full 2 page photograph of the umbra (darkest eclipse shadow) as seen from the Mir Russian space station and then continues on and include information concerning many aspects of the great eclipse of August 11, 1999, as viewed from different parts of the world. Finally, the book is supplemented with additional helpful celestial data and information.
Several shorter chapters include: a very nice atlas of the Sun and Moon; observing and photographing eclipse of the sun; global charts of total and annular eclipses of the Sun until 2060; Detailed charts of total and annular eclipse of the Sun until 2020 Lunar eclipses ; Observing and photographing eclipses of the Moon, Detailed charts of the total eclipses of the Moon until 2020. Lastly there is a glossary (including in-depth information about famous astronomers, eclipse and astronomical vernacular, a nice an extensive index and bibliography/index credits.
This is a must have book for your collection. While it does not take the place of viewing an actual total solar eclipse, this book is exhilirating in itself as the photos are awe inspiring, like a total eclipse itself. The brilliant photographs, illustrations and sketches are both breathtaking and informational. The books also excels at integrating many facets of eclipse phemenon with the visuals. While many books include eclipses as the main theme, this book is one that elevates the majesty of the phenomenon through the (oversized) visuals, historical and scientific perspectives, astronomical information and more.
Whether you are an eclipse chaser or will see your first (or plan to see another) eclipse, this text is nice to have at any price. The authors effort in crafting this large text is evident. While the price of the book is a steep one is worth it (it can be found at other stores for a lower price).