16. The term was first used by José Joaquín de Ferrer an astronomer from Spain who was visiting the United States and saw the total solar eclipse of June 16, 1806, from Kinderhook, New York. This is his description of the eclipse: "The darkness was not so great as was expected, and without doubt the light was greater than that of the full moon. From the extremity of the ring, many luminous rays were projected . . . The lunar disk was ill defined, very dark forming a contrast with the luminous corona . . . which was a ring or illuminated atmosphere of pearl color."
Another vivid description of the same eclipse was given by Simeon De Witt from Albany, New York. "The edge of the moon was strongly illuminated, and had the color of polished silver; and around a dark circle was an immense radiated glory, like a new creation, in a moment bursting on the sight, and for several minutes fixing the gaze of man in silent admiration."