Punch,  34 (1858), 143.

Optical Phenomena Observed During the Eclipse



News-Commentary, Drollery


Astronomy, Light, Instruments, Observation, Amateurism

    Describes one of the 'Optical Phenomena attending the Eclipse'—the discovery of several hundred black eyes caused by the 'injudicious' use of smoked-glass plates to observe the celestial event. Recounts the experience of Mr Swipey, who sought to carry out George B Airy's suggestion that 'elevated' persons should 'remark the changes of appearance of surrounding objects': he became 'elevated' (drunk) and noted that the eclipse made all objects 'look double'. Following Airy's suggestion to gauge the sun's luminosity using a candle, 'a gentleman at Peckham' singed off part of his right eyebrow, which can be seen 'without the aid of any instrument'.

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