The Solar Corona

The Sun has an outer atmosphere of plasma known as the corona (from the Latin word for “crown”).  The corona extends millions of kilometers into space, is exponentially hotter than the Sun’s visible surface, and contains particles of highly ionized iron. While invisible to the naked eye during normal daylight, the Sun’s corona may be viewed during a total solar eclipse. The corona is considered one of the most spectacular events during an eclipse and throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries astronomers have worked to capture its beauty in sketches and composite photographs. Below are a selection of images from a variety of volumes held by the Irvin Department.

Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of the Sun, August 7, 1869. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1870). Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of the Sun, August 7, 1869. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1870). Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of the Sun, August 7, 1869. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1870). Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of the Sun, August 7, 1869. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1870). Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of December 22, 1870. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871). Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of December 22, 1870. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871). Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of December 22, 1870. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871). Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of December 22, 1870. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871). Report of the Observations of the Total Solar Eclipse, July, 29, 1878, made at Fort Worth, Texas. (Cambridge: Press of John Wilson and Son, 1879). Report of the Observations of the Total Solar Eclipse, July, 29, 1878, made at Fort Worth, Texas. (Cambridge: Press of John Wilson and Son, 1879). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Abbe, Cleveland. Report on the Solar Eclipse of July, 1878. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1881). Harper's Weekly, Saturday, August 24, 1878. Harper's Weekly, Saturday, August 24, 1878. British Astronomical Association. The Indian Eclipse 1898. (London: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1899. British Astronomical Association. The Indian Eclipse 1898. (London: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1899. British Astronomical Association. The Indian Eclipse 1898. (London: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1899. British Astronomical Association. The Indian Eclipse 1898. (London: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1899. Naegamvala, Kavasji Dadabhai. Report on the Total Solar Eclipse of January 21-22, 1898, as Observed at Jeur in Western India. (Bombay: Printed at the Government Central Press, 1902). Naegamvala, Kavasji Dadabhai. Report on the Total Solar Eclipse of January 21-22, 1898, as Observed at Jeur in Western India. (Bombay: Printed at the Government Central Press, 1902). Joslin, Rebecca R. Chasing Eclipses: The Total Solar Eclipses of 1905, 1914, 1925. (Boston: Walton Advertising & Printing Co., 1929). Joslin, Rebecca R. Chasing Eclipses: The Total Solar Eclipses of 1905, 1914, 1925. (Boston: Walton Advertising & Printing Co., 1929). Joslin, Rebecca R. Chasing Eclipses: The Total Solar Eclipses of 1905, 1914, 1925. (Boston: Walton Advertising & Printing Co., 1929). Joslin, Rebecca R. Chasing Eclipses: The Total Solar Eclipses of 1905, 1914, 1925. (Boston: Walton Advertising & Printing Co., 1929). Joslin, Rebecca R. Chasing Eclipses: The Total Solar Eclipses of 1905, 1914, 1925. (Boston: Walton Advertising & Printing Co., 1929). Joslin, Rebecca R. Chasing Eclipses: The Total Solar Eclipses of 1905, 1914, 1925. (Boston: Walton Advertising & Printing Co., 1929).