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Unusual Things That Happen With A Total Lunar Eclipse
Saros Final totality Total solar eclipses are seen on Earth because of a fortuitous combination of circumstances. Even on Earth, the diversity of eclipses familiar to people today is a temporary on a geological time scale phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of years in the past, the Moon was closer to the Earth and therefore apparently larger, so every solar eclipse was total or partial, and there were no annular eclipses. Due to tidal acceleration , the orbit of the Moon around the Earth becomes approximately 3. Millions of years in the future, the Moon will be too far away to fully occlude the Sun, and no total eclipses will occur. In the same timeframe, the Sun may become brighter, making it appear larger in size. A solar eclipse of June 15, BC mentioned in an Assyrian text is important for the chronology of the ancient Near East. The Book of Joshua Both sides put down their weapons and declared peace as a result of the eclipse. This research has not yielded conclusive results,   and Good Friday is recorded as being at Passover , which is held at the time of a full moon. Further, the darkness lasted from the sixth hour to the ninth, or three hours, which is much, much longer than the eight-minute upper limit for any solar eclipse's totality. In the Western hemisphere, there are few reliable records of eclipses before AD, until the advent of Arab and monastic observations in the early medieval period. The corona was identified as part of the Sun's atmosphere in , and the first photograph or daguerreotype of a total eclipse was taken of the solar eclipse of July 28, Now whether the robber carries off the light in the evening when Indra has gone to sleep, or boldly rears his black form against the sky during the daytime, causing darkness to spread over the earth, would make little difference to the framers of the myth. To a chicken a solar eclipse is the same thing as nightfall, and he goes to roost accordingly. Why, then, should the primitive thinker have made a distinction between the darkening of the sky caused by black clouds and that caused by the rotation of the earth? He had no more conception of the scientific explanation of these phenomena than the chicken has of the scientific explanation of an eclipse. For him it was enough to know that the solar radiance was stolen, in the one case as in the other, and to suspect that the same demon was to blame for both robberies. This damage can result in impairment of vision, up to and including blindness. The retina has no sensitivity to pain, and the effects of retinal damage may not appear for hours, so there is no warning that injury is occurring. However, during an eclipse, with so much of the Sun covered, it is easier and more tempting to stare at it. Looking at the Sun during an eclipse is as dangerous as looking at it outside an eclipse, except during the brief period of totality, when the Sun's disk is completely covered totality occurs only during a total eclipse and only very briefly; it does not occur during a partial or annular eclipse. Viewing the Sun's disk through any kind of optical aid binoculars, a telescope, or even an optical camera viewfinder is extremely hazardous and can cause irreversible eye damage within a fraction of a second. The Sun's disk can be viewed using appropriate filtration to block the harmful part of the Sun's radiation. Sunglasses do not make viewing the Sun safe. Only properly designed and certified solar filters should be used for direct viewing of the Sun's disk. The projected image of the Sun can then be safely viewed; this technique can be used to observe sunspots , as well as eclipses. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that no one looks through the projector telescope, pinhole, etc. The optical viewfinders provided with some video and digital cameras are not safe. Securely mounting 14 welder's glass in front of the lens and viewfinder protects the equipment and makes viewing possible. In the partial eclipse path, one will not be able to see the corona or nearly complete darkening of the sky. However, depending on how much of the Sun's disk is obscured, some darkening may be noticeable. If three-quarters or more of the sun is obscured, then an effect can be observed by which the daylight appears to be dim, as if the sky were overcast, yet objects still cast sharp shadows. These are caused by the sunlight still being able to reach the Earth through lunar valleys. Totality then begins with the diamond ring effect , the last bright flash of sunlight. The Sun's faint corona will be visible, and the chromosphere , solar prominences , and possibly even a solar flare may be seen. At the end of totality, the same effects will occur in reverse order, and on the opposite side of the Moon. The time span between shots is three minutes. Photographing an eclipse is possible with fairly common camera equipment. As with viewing the Sun directly, looking at it through the optical viewfinder of a camera can produce damage to the retina, so care is recommended. Using a camera's live view feature or an electronic viewfinder is safe for the human eye, but the Sun's rays could potentially irreparably damage digital image sensors unless the lens is covered by a properly designed solar filter. Eclipse chasing A dedicated group of eclipse chasers have pursued the observation of solar eclipses when they occur around the Earth. Normally this is not visible because the photosphere is much brighter than the corona. According to the point reached in the solar cycle , the corona may appear small and symmetric, or large and fuzzy. It is very hard to predict this in advance. They only occur just prior to and after totality, when a narrow solar crescent acts as an anisotropic light source. The observation of a total solar eclipse of May 29, , helped to confirm Einstein 's theory of general relativity. By comparing the apparent distance between stars in the constellation Taurus , with and without the Sun between them, Arthur Eddington stated that the theoretical predictions about gravitational lenses were confirmed. Though Eddington's observations were near the experimental limits of accuracy at the time, work in the later half of the 20th century confirmed his results. In , and again in , Maurice Allais reported observations of strange and unexplained movement during solar eclipses. Similarly, in , Saxl and Allen observed the sudden change in motion of a torsion pendulum; this phenomenon is called the Saxl effect. Later in , Yang and Wang published detailed data analysis, which suggested that the phenomenon still remains unexplained. But these events are extremely rare because of their short durations. The next anticipated simultaneous occurrence of a Solar eclipse and a transit of Mercury will be on July 5, , and a Solar eclipse and a transit of Venus is expected on April 5, At one time, some scientists hypothesized that there may be a planet often given the name Vulcan even closer to the Sun than Mercury; the only way to confirm its existence would have been to observe it in transit or during a total solar eclipse. No such planet was ever found, and general relativity has since explained the observations that led astronomers to suggest that Vulcan might exist. Seen from the Moon, the Earth during a total solar eclipse is mostly brilliantly illuminated, with only a small dark patch showing the Moon's shadow. The brilliantly-lit Earth reflects a lot of light to the Moon. If the corona of the eclipsed Sun were not present, the Moon, illuminated by earthlight, would be easily visible from Earth. This would be essentially the same as the earthshine which can frequently be seen when the Moon's phase is a narrow crescent. In reality, the corona, though much less brilliant than the Sun's photosphere , is much brighter than the Moon illuminated by earthlight. Therefore, by contrast, the Moon during a total solar eclipse appears to be black, with the corona surrounding it. Artificial satellites From space, the Moon's shadow during a solar eclipse appears as a dark spot moving across the Earth. Artificial satellites can also pass in front of the Sun as seen from the Earth, but none is large enough to cause an eclipse. At the altitude of the International Space Station , for example, an object would need to be about 3. These transits are difficult to watch because the zone of visibility is very small. The satellite passes over the face of the Sun in about a second, typically. As with a transit of a planet, it will not get dark. The International Space Station transit across the Sun from any location can last from around 1 up to 8 seconds only taking into account, that the spacecraft is moving centrally alongside the diameter of the Sun. The longest International Space Station transits may occur just after the sunrise or just before the sunset when the way from observer to the object is the longest see the Parallax phenomenon . Observations of eclipses from spacecraft or artificial satellites orbiting above the Earth's atmosphere are not subject to weather conditions. The crew of Gemini 12 observed a total solar eclipse from space in Impact The solar eclipse of March 20, , was the first occurrence of an eclipse estimated to potentially have a significant impact on the power system, with the electricity sector taking measures to mitigate any impact. The continental Europe and Great Britain synchronous areas were estimated to have about 90 gigawatts of solar power and it was estimated that production would temporarily decrease by up to 34 GW compared to a clear sky day. For example, birds and squirrels return to their nests and crickets chirp. Lists of solar eclipses Eclipse path for total and hybrid eclipses from to Eclipses only occur in the eclipse season , when the Sun is close to either the ascending or descending node of the Moon. Each eclipse is separated by one, five or six lunations synodic months , and the midpoint of each season is separated by The period is a little less than half a calendar year because the lunar nodes slowly regress. Because synodic months is roughly equal to anomalistic months and draconic months , eclipses with similar geometry recur synodic months about 6, This period 18 years Because synodic months is not identical to anomalistic months or draconic months, saros cycles do not endlessly repeat. Each cycle begins with the Moon's shadow crossing the earth near the north or south pole, and subsequent events progress toward the other pole until the Moon's shadow misses the earth and the series ends. The next solar eclipse will occur on August 11, It will be a partial solar eclipse visible from Northern Europe and Northeastern Asia.
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