Image description: This photograph of the corona of the sun was taken during a solar eclipse in 1900 by Smithsonian photographer Thomas Smillie. A team from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory loaded several railroad cars with scientific equipment and headed to Wadesboro, North Carolina. Scientists had determined that this small town would be the best location in North America for viewing an expected total solar eclipse, and the expedition hoped to capture photographic proof of the sun’s corona. Smillie rigged cameras to seven telescopes and successfully made eight glass-plate negatives. At the time, Smillie’s work was considered an amazing photographic and scientific achievement.
Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Archives