Early Solar & Lunar Eclipses Photographs from the 19th Century


Many of you may already be prepping up for the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21, and it might just be one of the most photographed, viewed and observed solar eclipse in history since most of us own a camera already.

However, we revisit the first photograph of the phenomenon, which was taken by Prussian photographer Friedrich Berkowski.

Solar eclipse images of Berkowski

Berkowski was commissioned by the Royal Prussian Observatory to capture the eclipse. It was honestly as if they were asking the impossible since no one has been able to do so correctly by taking the corona. It took 84 seconds to be captured via a daguerreotype. The image was captured by using a small refracting telescope, attached to the 15.8cm Fraunhofer heliometer.

Since the success of his photograph, many tried to recreate his achievement. And frankly, they all just kept getting better and better. Here are some early solar eclipse shots from the 1850's to 1890's.

Solar eclipse over Shelbyville, Kentucky in 1869 (US Navel Observatory/High Altitude Observatory); Solar eclipse in 1925 (Fred Goetz/Library of Congress); Lunar eclipse, seen from Denmark in 1896. (Ola J. Joensen/Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen); Lunar eclipse, circa-1880s. (Joseph F. Reiff/Metropolitan Museum of Art); Two photographs by Warren De la Rue of the July 18, 1860 total solar eclipse, observed at Rivabellosa, Spain (Wellesley College Library/Internet Archive)

Images are from the public domain.

2017-08-12 #culture #astrophotography #solar-eclipse #photography-history


  1. sierravictor
    sierravictor ·

    Fantastic old photos!

  2. lizkoppert
    lizkoppert ·

    Wow! There's just something I like about old photos… especially the likes of these ones.

More Interesting Articles