UT Professor’s Book Covers Eclipses

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A University of Tennessee journalism professor’s updated book on solar eclipses is drawing favorable media reviews.

Dr. Mark Littmann’s new edition of “Totality: Eclipses of the Sun” (Oxford University Press) was chosen in June as a favorite selection by the Astronomy Book Club. Editors of Sky and Telescope, a popular astronomy magazine, called it “the finest book on eclipses ever written.”

Littmann’s update contains new information about the sun and solar eclipses. It also includes digital photographs not available in his original 1991 publication.

“The book is considerably revised in terms of advancements in photography,” Littmann said. “There are new films, developing techniques and digital processing.

“We have learned so much more about the sun over the past decade that it seemed like a good time for an updated book on the subject.”

The book, written for both amateur and professional astronomers, also features more stories about traveling around the globe to see eclipses.

Littmann is going to Turkey soon to study and lecture on a total eclipse occurring there August 11. Total eclipses are rare, and most places average only one every 375 years, he said.

Littmann holds UT-Knoxville’s Chair of Excellence in Science, Technology and Medical Writing and teaches courses in writing and astronomy.

Books he has authored include “Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System,” “Comet Halley: Once in a Lifetime” and “The Heavens on Fire: The Great Leonid Meteor Storms.”