In case you hadn’t yet heard, a total eclipse of the sun will be (weather permitting) observable along a path diagonally bisecting the continental United States this coming twenty-first day of August. As might be expected, there is more than just a little excitement about this amongst astronomers as well as general naturalists.
As a result, a few more books than would usually be expected in a single year on the subject of solar eclipses are being published. Thus far I have already received, read and written a review (to be published very soon) of Frank Close’s Eclipse: Journeys to the Dark Side of the Moon from Oxford University Press. And just about the time I completed that, another package arrived from Oxford bearing a copy of Totality: The Great American Eclipses of 2017 and 2024 by Mark Littmann and Fred Espenak.
While Professor Close’s Eclipse is a fascinating combination of information about eclipses and his own experiences chasing them around the world, Totality is much more focused upon providing the reader useful information about observing the upcoming eclipse of 2017 (and for those already planning ahead, of 2024) as well as a collection of interesting historical and astronomical information and anecdotes to whet the appetites of those anticipating the dawning of 21 August.