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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of February 20, 1998

This week, facts about....On Thursday, February 26th, the western hemisphere will be treated to its last total solar eclipse of the millennium. The best view spots are in Central America and the Caribbean. It’s the first time the view will be fed live over the World Wide Web and available to millions. North America's next total solar eclipse is scheduled for 2017.

Transcript

CURWOOD: On Thursday, February 26, the western hemisphere is treated to its last total solar eclipse of the millennium. The best viewing spots are in Central America and the Caribbean. Observers aren't wasting any time getting into position. Hotels are booked solid, and an armada of cruise ships is headed to the area to view the spectacular event. Some scientists will even be in planes flying east to west, so that they can stretch the few critical minutes of totality out to an hour. But observing eclipses wasn't always so easy. Back in 1780, with the revolution against the King of England well underway, the first American astronomical expedition to study an eclipse left Boston for British-held Penobscot Bay in Maine. Maybe out of respect for scientific inquiry, the British commander of Penobscot let the group of professors and students land and observe the eclipse unbothered. While the February 26 total eclipse may be the last of this century, it's the first to be fed live over the World Wide Web and available to millions. But, if you still manage to miss the show, stick around: North America's next total solar eclipse is scheduled for 2017. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.

 

 

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