Partial eclipse of the sun, 16 July 1860.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photographic glas slide, taken during the 1860 Solar Eclipse, showing the Sun partly obscured by the Moon. The picture taken by Warren De La Rue (1815-1889), a pioneer of astrophotography, was obtained in Northern Spain using the Kew Photoheliograph, a telescope specially designed to photograph the Sun. Photographs taken at totality, when the Sun was fully hidden, showed the solar corona, a ghostly halo of pearly light. Similar images taken elsewhere first showed this to be an intrinsic solar feature rather an effect produced by the Earth's atmosphere.