The astronomer Arthur Eddington said it was
the greatest moment of his life when he measured the image of a
star and found that the sun's gravity warped the space through which
the light had traveled. This photo is from the 1922 eclipse, where
the effect was reconfirmed. (The stars are not visible in this reproduction...
what you see is circles drawn around them.)
The eclipse experiments, like most important
new science, were done at the very limit of available techniques.
It was not until the 1960s, with vastly improved methods, that the
gravitational bending of light could be demonstrated beyond reasonable
doubt. Until then one could almost say that the logic and beauty
of Einstein's theory did as much to confirm the observations as
the observations did to confirm his theory.
EXIT to a page on history of general relativity (Univ. of St.
to a guide to Einstein's general relativity (NCSA).