When The Sun Goes Dark
Sun, Apr 16, 2017 8:06 PM
Next best thing to a live workshop
This book is the next best thing to an actual live workshop about eclipses. It's a story told by a 12 year old child about wisdom learned from eclipse chasing grandparents. It has how to set up a Sun-Earth-Moon model at home with a tennis ball as model Moon and a lamp as model Sun (with the family dog named Sirius lying under the table where the lamp is). This right off the bat can explain why we see phases of the Moon as well as why eclipses happen and the difference between partial, annular, and total solar eclipses. It can show how the Moon's shadow covers a path only a few dozens of miles wide. It also explains why lunar eclipses happen and why they can be seen much more frequently than total solar eclipses. Grandpa shows how two hula hoops can show why eclipses don't happen every month. Since most children won't be able to go to the path of totality, especially important is how to view partial eclipse stages using special eclipse filter "glasses", pinhole projection, or projecting an image of the Sun onto a white paper on a clipboard from binoculars on a tripod. My one criticism is that reactions of people watching the eclipse is only described as that they "oohed and aahed". In my experience, at the moment of totality, people go completely nuts (or bananas), including me.