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The Solstice

Sometime in November of 1770, crowds took to the streets of London to gaze upwards. The sun was bright and Londoners were able to look at it directly without the use of what Benjamin Franklin called ‘smoked glasses’, for the ‘common smoke of the city’ was protection enough. What they saw was at once amazing and mysterious. Dark shadows, or clouds, or inexplicable black spots could be made out on the sun’s surface. Nobody knew for certain what they were looking at, but some had ideas. Continue reading

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