7/31/08

Eclipse The Mystery



A Total Solar Eclipse...

This is so great! I wish I were in a region to see it. There is a total eclipse in one of my Sci-Fi stories which causes major upheavals for the hero and heroine.

Here's the scoop from for this Friday's eclipse from: http://www.space.com

A total eclipse of the sun Friday (August 1st) should fascinate millions of lucky sky watchers in Greenland, Siberia, Mongolia and China. If the weather cooperates, people along a narrow path who venture out and look up will see stars during the day as the sun is gradually devoured and ultimately blotted out by the moon.
Unlike ancient times, when eclipses were viewed as bad omens in many cultures, fewer people should be expecting doom this time around. Still, myths persist, especially in remote regions, so it's likely there will be some banging on pots and other creative tactics employed to drive the "evil spirits" away.
Billions of people along the path, including most of Europe and Asia, have a chance to see an interesting but much less foreboding partial eclipse. The northern half of Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces will be graced with a partial eclipse at sunrise.
Myth and mystery
Solar eclipses occur when the moon moves in front of the sun. This can happen only at the time of a new moon, when the moon is between Earth and the sun. When the three objects align perfectly an eclipse occurs.
Before there was a scientific explanation for eclipses, myth and mystery was pervasive.
Many cultures thought a demon or dragon was devouring the sun.

The ancient Chinese banged pots and drums to shoo the frightful sun-eating character away, according to the Exploratorium Science Center in San Francisco. In India, people would immerse themselves in water to help the sun fight the dragon.
Even nowadays many myths persist. In Egypt, as one example, children are often kept indoors with windows covered or shades drawn during an eclipse.
Risk of eye injury
Eclipses can indeed be dangerous.
Despite myths and rumors, a total solar eclipse is safe to watch only during the darkness of totality, when no rays of the sun are passing to your eyes. But special g
lasses for eye protection are recommended during an eclipse.
Webcast planned
A safe way to view the Eclipse: For those not fortunate enough to be in the eclipse's narrow path, a live webcast is planned. NASA will transmit live images on NASA TV. The coverage, originating in China and reliant on good weather, runs from 6 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. ET. The period of total eclipse, or totality, will occur from 7:08 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. ET.
(Taken from an article by Roy Robert Britt, Science Writer)

There it is. So if you are in an area to view it, do it. If not try to catch the webcast. It will be an ominous experience. Lucky me saw the 2006 eclipse, It was truly fascinating. And it did spark a few story ideas too!

Kaye
What I'm Writing

3 comments:

Dianne said...

yeah, it would be nice to see the eclipse. I can think of some story ideas relating to a solar eclipse.

Kaye Manro said...

I wish I could view the eclipse as well. But remember the webcast from NASA will show it live if you can get it.

Johnny said...

This is a fine article, Kaye. I visit space.com often. It's good to keep up with this sort of thing. I hope some of you watched the webcast.