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24 Incredible Pictures Of Solar Eclipses Through History

Over 300 years in pictures spent staring at the sun.

Posted on August 18, 2017, at 2:51 p.m. ET

CCI / REX / Shutterstock

This French watercolor from the late 17th century depicts a solar eclipse observed by a party of French Jesuits in Siam (now Thailand) in April 1688.

Science & Society Picture Library / Getty Images

This 1836 print shows Chinese astronomers observing and measuring an eclipse of the sun using a telescope and other instruments.

Dea / Getty Images

This painting by Johann Christian Schoeller, titled "The Total Eclipse of the Sun," depicts the scene in Vienna, Austria, during the July 8, 1842, solar eclipse.

Universal History Archive / Getty Images

An illustration shows members of Nansen's Fram expedition making a solar eclipse observation from the North Pole on April 6, 1894.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

People gaze upwards, aligning cameras and optical equipment, toward a total eclipse of the sun in the Parisian suburb of St. Germain-en-Laye on April 17, 1912.

Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

A crowd in a California town observes the total eclipse of the sun that occurred in September 1923. The last total solar eclipse in any part of the country before this was in 1918.

Adoc-photos / Getty Images

Women observe the solar eclipse of April 8, 1921, in Paris.

Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

City workers in London view a solar eclipse from their office roof on April 9, 1921.

Fox Photos / Getty Images

A group of nurses watch a solar eclipse through special dark glasses in June 1927.

Fox Photos / Getty Images

A crowd of people observe a solar eclipse from the grounds of Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, England, circa 1927.

/ AP

Eclipse watchers squint through protective film as they view a partial eclipse of the sun from the top deck of New York's Empire State Building on Aug. 31, 1932.


President Herbert Hoover looks at the solar eclipse from the lawn near his office on Aug. 31, 1932.

Imagno / Getty Images

Visitors of the Treptower astronomical observatory in Berlin witness a solar eclipse through a telescope in 1936.

The Sydney Morning Herald / Getty Images

Students at Sydney University protect their eyes from a total solar eclipse by looking through pieces of cardboard and film on Oct. 31, 1948.

Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

A teacher instructs his students in London as they watch an eclipse of the sun in June 1954.

Wally Mcnamee / Getty Images

Students witness a solar eclipse in 1958.

Francis Miller / The LIFE Picture Collection

Fifth-grade students from Emerson Elementary School in Maywood, Illinois, place cardboard boxes over their heads to shield their eyes from the sun in 1963.

Bill Wunsch / Getty Images

Students cluster around a projection screen rigged to a telescope in Aurora, Colorado, to witness a solar eclipse in 1970.

Keystone / Getty Images

Ten separate exposures on a single frame show the phases of a partial solar eclipse in the sky over Washington, DC, on March 7, 1970.

Visions Of America / Getty Images

Amateur astronomers view a solar eclipse at Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles on Jan. 1, 1994.

Getty Images

A Cambodian monk watches the beginning of a full solar eclipse with safety glasses on Oct. 24, 1995, during a total eclipse at Angkor Wat.

Kaveh Kazemi / Getty Images

A woman views a total solar eclipse through filtered glasses in Isfahan, Iran, Aug. 9, 1999. In the background is the Imam Mosque.

Michel Lambert / Getty Images

Crowds gather with protective eyewear to witness a solar eclipse in Vauville, France, on Aug. 11, 1999.

Ian Hodgson / Reuters

Olivia Rayner, aged 8, and her dog Violet May are both seen wearing protective eyewear for the solar eclipse on Aug. 11, 1999.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.