Observing an eclipse in China, c 1836.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Print showing Chinese astronomers observing and measuring an eclipse of the Sun using a telescope and other instruments. Titled 'The ceremonies observed in every province and city of China on the occasion of an eclipse'; the lithograph was produced J W Giles from a painting by Poshang. Published by Dean and Co, London, the scene depicts various people kowtowing to the eclipse in awe. By tradition, solar eclipses were explained in China as being caused by a dragon swallowing the Sun. This beast was invariable chased away by making as much noise as posible.