The Royal British Astronomical Society (RAS) has published the first film of a solar eclipse, captured in the year 1900, as reported by the EFE agency. The original fragment, found in the archive of the Astronomical Society, was repaired frame by frame and restored in 4K quality by the experts of the British Film Institute (BFI). The president of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mike Cruise, emphasized the importance of the filming: "It is wonderful to see the events of our scientific past regaining life".
The video of the solar eclipse was recorded by the British magician and cinema pioneer Nevil Maskelyne on an expedition to North Carolina, organized by the United Kingdom Astronomical Association on May 28, 1900. To capture the astronomical event, Maskelyne used a special telescopic adapter for his camera. But this is not the first time that the British have tried to film an eclipse. His first attempt was in India in 1898, but the negatives were stolen when he returned home.
Mike Cruise He says that "these scenes of a total solar eclipse, one of the most spectacular astronomical visions, are a captivating spectacle of Victorian science in action". Technological advances and magical performances were closely related in the Victorian era, so it is no coincidence that some illusionists were pioneers in the art of cinematography.
Maskelyne, a lover of cinema and science, was a member of the British astronomical organization and set out to demonstrate that the development of cinema could contribute to the advancement of knowledge. "Films, like magic, combine art and science," said Bryony Dixon, a silent film expert at the British Film Institute, who Maskelyne wanted to show with the film "the most impressive of all natural phenomena".
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