National Geographic : 1925 Jan
INTERVIEWING THE STARS Photograph by the Keystone View Co. A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS, TAKEN AT SHORT INTERVALS, SLOWING A PARTIAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN AT SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA In 1900oo,when numerous expeditions went to Georgia to view the total eclipse, one astron omer, who had followed such events around the earth for more than a third of a century, but had always had to work with his back to the sun in the operation of his instruments, took his wife along. She counted off the seconds, and when there were only five seconds left, he turned to look. His enthusiasm at what he saw probably surpassed that of any other member of any expedition that year. Some astronomers have gone on ten expeditions, traveling over 1oo.ooo miles and getting in less than half an hour's actual observation for the whole series of expeditions. the paramount concern of the nations in arms-how to win the war. One chemist after another made his contribution to the discussion. Then came the modest professor. He apolo gized for intruding a theme upon the at tention of that great body which could not, by the longest stretch of his imagi nation, have any bearing on the momen tous issue before which all other matters should stand silent. But after he spoke a venerable British savant declared that he need offer no apology; that if the war went on another two years the professor's contribution would do more to promote victory than all the other contributions to the proceed ings. Thus came helium as the straw that would break the HTohenzollern back, if all other weights should fail. It made possible the construction of giant dirigi bles which could conduct raids over the enemy lines without fear of inflammable bullets. And it was the training of a spectro scope on a huge flame on the rim of the sun during an eclipse that had first re vealed this element. Romance? Astronomy offers more thrills to the alert human mind than all the fiction in the Library of Congress could provide! THE TELEPHONE RELEASED FROM WIRE BONDS The American people listened in on the election returns that gave Mr. Coolidge the tribute of a just servant, and mar veled once more at the wonders of radio.