Kevin Briggs Photography

Early Solar and Lunar Eclipse Photography

Kevin Briggs

On August 21, parts of North America will witness the first total solar eclipse in nearly a century. The total solar eclipse of June 8, 1918 crossed the United States from Washington State to Florida and will be similar to that which portions of the U.S. will experience on August 21.

Fairly recent photographic discoveries have brought attention to the history of solar and lunar eclipse photography. According to Johnny Simon of Quartz Magazine online:

The earliest image of a solar eclipse is believed to have been taken by a Prussian daguerreotypist Johann Berkowski, who captured a solar eclipse over Königsberg in 1851.

The earliest known image of a solar eclipse. (Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

The earliest known image of a solar eclipse. (Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

Mr. Simon also highlights other marvelous photographic finds such as the following solar and lunar eclipse images.
 

A time-lapse composite of a solar eclipse on January 24, 1925. (adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images.)

A time-lapse composite of a solar eclipse on January 24, 1925. (adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images.)

Recently discovered glass plates, forgotten in the basement of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen offer some extremely early and startling crisp images of the moon during a lunar eclipse:

A lunar eclipse seen from Denmark in 1896. Ola J. Joensen; Niles Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.  

A lunar eclipse seen from Denmark in 1896. Ola J. Joensen; Niles Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.
 

Check out the article and other images here.