South Of The Border

Total solar eclipses provide all sorts of statistical vagaries. Like New York City, England's capital, London, had to wait 575 years for such an eclipse, from 1140 until 1715 (one of the eclipses we discussed in detail in Chapter 7). Jerusalem had a gap of 795 years between 1131 and 336 B.C., but including the latter event a region near that holy city was crossed by three total eclipses within 54 years in the fourth century B.C. Similar triplets have occurred elsewhere over the past several millennia—we mentioned one in British Columbia at the start of this chapter—but as you can imagine they are quite rare.

Brownsville in Texas was mentioned in Chapter 10, in connection with the eclipse of May 1900. It happens that there is another triplet due to begin in 50 years' time, covering a region just south of that town, over the Mexican border. Three total solar eclipse tracks will intersect there on the following dates: March 30, 2052; September 23, 2071; and May 11, 2078. The Laguna Madre would seem to be the prime viewing spot for our greatgrandchildren to plan to moor their yachts.

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