First published in The Sydney Morning Herald on September 22, 1922
(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE.)
WALLAL (W.A.), Thursday.
The solar eclipse was observed here under perfect weather conditions, the sky being cloudless and the wind light. About 100 photographs of the various features were taken in an attempt to settle the Einstein theory and to obtain information regarding the constitution of the corona. Some report regarding the Einstein results may be published in a short time, but a full report cannot appear before several months. The temperature fell from 97 degrees to 98 degrees.
The general feeling amongst the scientists is that the observations were quite successful.
Further photographs of the sky will be taken to-night, and then the instrument will be taken down and returned to Perth, India, England, the United States, and Canada.
Perfect weather favoured the astronomers to-day at Wallal.
After the partial phase had commenced, the scientists gathered round their respective instruments and waited for totality. Long before this the whole appearance of the landscape had changed. The sky became a deeper blue, except near the horizon, where a peculiar yellow tinge was noticeable. The western sky was distinctly darker than the eastern, and this difference became more marked as totality drew nearer.
The change in the character of the light during the last two minutes before the total phase was remarkable. The landscape assumed in turn a yellowish then a greenish blue, then a purple colour, and the shadows cast by the narrow crescent of the sun were sharp and harsh. Just as the moon covered the sun the phenomenon of Bally’o Beads was noticed.
The crescent broke up into a series of brilliant detached points like the gems of a necklace. At the same time the corona burst into view. Its colour was not pure white, but tended rather to a creamy tinge. The great brilliance of the inner portion of the corona to some extent detracted from the brightness of the streamers, but nevertheless the corona was a wonderful sight.
With the advent of totality the eclipse programmes were started and carried through with clockwork precision. All the parties expressed themselves as thoroughly satisfied with their observations. As these were chiefly photographic, it is as yet too soon to speak of the scientific value of the records obtained, but there is every reason to believe that Wallal will be associated always with important advances made in astronomical science.