The History of Solar Eclipises from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets
by Tyler Nordgren

Basic/September 2016

“Nordgren’s appealing work covers the history of man’s varied reactions to both solar and lunar eclipses, from the Mayan mention of these phenomena in codices to the current clique of “coronaphiles” who chase eclipses around the world…[An] enthusiastic and informative guide.”

“A breezy yet substantive appreciation of a rare and beautiful celestial phenomenon, ideal for astronomy nuts and fans of popular science.”
—Library Journal

“Nordgren…lyrically relates the long, fascinating history of the human relationship with eclipses…He sprinkles his history and scientific explanations with delightful comments and personal anecdotes that highlight his joy in his work.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Astronomer Nordgren illustrates how this apparently unnatural phenomenon was transformed from a fearsome omen to a tourist attraction. Traveling through history, he shows how different cultures interpreted these dramatic events.”
—Publishers Weekly, Fall Announcements

“A charming natural history of eclipses and a guide to witnessing the awe-inspiring event yourself.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Tyler Nordgren’s Sun Moon Earth shows the excitement of observing a total solar eclipse better than any other source I have seen. In addition to enveloping readers in his very readable descriptions, he explains a wide range of fascinating science in a way accessible to all. I highly recommend this book to all 300 million Americans who will be under the moon’s shadow on August 21, 2017—and hope that it can make tens of millions of them join the original ten million in the path of totality.”
—Jay Pasachoff, Williams College, Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Eclipses

“Sun, Moon, Earth is about a lot more than an eclipse—as awesome as this eclipse promises to be. At its heart, this is a book about our relationship with the sky, which is of course about our relationship with being alive right now on this breathtaking planet and having the chance, night after night, to witness a world full of wonders. Packed with science, story, and Nordgren’s evocative artwork and graphs, this book enlightens and informs, all the while building excitement for an event that—once you’ve read this book—you will be determined not to miss.”
—Paul Bogard, author of The End of Night


On August 21, 2017, more than ten million Americans will experience an awe-inspiring phenomenon: the first total eclipse of the sun in America in almost forty years. In Sun Moon Earth, astronomer Tyler Nordgren illustrates how this most seemingly unnatural of natural phenomena was transformed from a fearsome omen to a tourist attraction. From the astrologers of ancient China and Babylon to the high priests of the Maya, Sun Moon Earth takes us around the world to show how different cultures interpreted these dramatic events. Greek philosophers discovered eclipses’ cause and used them to measure their world and the cosmos beyond. Victorian-era scientists mounted eclipse expeditions during the age of globe-spanning empires. And modern-day physicists continue to use eclipses to confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Beautifully illustrated and lyrically written, Sun Moon Earth is the ideal guide for all eclipse watchers and star gazers alike.

About the Author
Tyler Nordgren is an astronomer and Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Redlands. He has worked as an astronomer at both the U.S. Naval Observatory and Lowell Observatory. Since 2007, Nordgren has worked closely with the U.S. National Park Service.