It was in September 1964 that NASA launched the satellite OGO-1 into orbit to study Earth’s magnetic environment and how the planet interacts with the sun.
New science allows storm-planning six months out, aided by older knowledge like the arrival of mangoes, the incidence of fish poisoning, and the spread of predatory starfish.
Once, solar eclipses caught ancient cultures unaware; they fled terrified, believing they’d angered the gods. Now astronomers can predict them – and those with enough money pursue an eclipse around the planet.
Cooks tourism should capitalise on eclipse and stargazing.
Next month’s solar eclipse will draw astronomy enthusiasts to the Pacific Ocean south of the Cook Islands and French Polynesia.