BFI Shares First Footage of a Solar Eclipse from 1900

The Royal British Astronomical Society 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, has been repaired frame by frame and restored in 4K quality by experts from the British Film Institute (BFI). The president of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mike Cruise, has highlighted the importance of filming: “It is wonderful to see events from our scientific past recover life.”

The solar eclipse video was recorded by British magician and film pioneer Nevil Maskelyne on an expedition in North Carolina, organized by the United Kingdom Astronomical Association on May 28, 1900. To capture the astronomical event, Maskelyne used an adapter telescopic special for your camera.

But this is not the first time that the British tried to film an eclipse. His first attempt was in India in 1898, but the negatives were stolen when he was returning home.

Mike Cruise states that “these scenes of a total solar eclipse, one of the most spectacular astronomical visions, are a captivating display of Victorian science in action.” Technological advances and magic shows were closely related in the Victorian era, so it is no coincidence that some illusionists were pioneers in the art of filmmaking.

Maskelyne, a film and science enthusiast, 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, an expert in silent films at the British Film Institute, who Maskelyne wanted to show with the film “the most impressive of all natural phenomena.”

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