Observation of the 6 April 1875 Total Solar Eclipse from the Grand Palace in Bangkok | A Talk by Visanu Euarchukiati
This is a further investigation into the events that took place in Siam during the total solar eclipse of 6 April 1875. Lockyer and Schuster mentioned in their “Report on the Total Solar Eclipse of April 6, 1875” that observations took place in Bangkok at the Grand Palace. Mom Chao Duangchit Chitraphong states in her biographical preface that her father, Prince Narisara Nuwattiwong, participated in an eclipse drawing contest organised by King Chulalongkorn before the start of totality. The Prince’s name was one of the drawers’ name given in Lockyer and Schuster’s report. The eclipse observations and the drawing contest must have occurred at the same place and at the same time.
Some of the few historic personalities mentioned in the documents were already at the height of their careers, e.g., Prince Maha Mala, while others would go on to make their marks in arts, politics, and society. All were important figures in the history of Thailand up to the mid-20th century.
Another question is where in the Grand Palace the observation took palce. Clues are provided by a little-known mural at Wat Ratchapradit, a temple near the Grand Palace built by King Mongkut.
This is a free online lecture. The Siam Society Members who pre-register may watch on Zoom and participate in the Q&A. Please click here to register.
Others may watch the live transmission on The Siam Society Facebook and YouTube pages.
About the speaker
Mr Visanu Euarchukiati graduated with a BSc (Eng) in Computing Science from Imperial College, London University, and an MS in Computer Science from Florida Institute of Technology. Visanu has worked as a systems analyst and in other managerial positions with the Shell Company of Thailand, in database analysis for Smart Loyalty (Thailand) and J Walter Thompson, as a communications consultant at ActionAid Thailand, and as an editor and author of Thai books on history of astronomy. His two papers on the observations of the total solar eclipse of 6 April 1875 in Siam were recently published in Exploring the History of Southeast Asian Astronomy by Springer.
Free of charge