Monday’s Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse


From NASA’s ‘Total Solar Eclipse 2017’ page:

“On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk. NASA created this website to provide a guide to this amazing event. Here you will find activities, events, broadcasts, and resources from NASA and our partners across the nation.”

What is It?

This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location.  For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds.  The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.”

There are tabs for live video streams, eclipse weather, eclipse traffic (due to ‘events’ and watching, viewing safety, science, FAQ, and more.

‘Tracing the 2017 Solar Eclipse’  (pretty trippy altogether)

‘Solar Eclipses in History and Mythology’, bibalex.org; two snippets:

The ancient Greek astronomers had also great knowledge of eclipses.

A fragment of a lost poem by Archilochus (ca. 680–645 BCE), who was a Greek poet and soldier, seems to clearly depict a total solar eclipse:

Nothing there is beyond hope,
nothing that can be sworn impossible,
nothing wonderful, since Zeus,
father of the Olympians,
made night from mid-day,
hiding the light of the shining Sun,
and sore fear came upon men.

Herodotus, the father of history, who lived in the 5th century BC, cited that Thales (ca. 624-547 BCE), the Greek philosopher, predicted the solar eclipse of 28 May 585 BCE that put an end to the conflict between the Lydians and the Medes.  Herodotus wrote:

… day was all of sudden changed into night. This event had been foretold by Thales, the Milesian, who forewarned the Ionians of it, fixing for it the very year in which it took place. The Medes and the Lydians when they observed the change, ceased fighting, and were alike anxious to have terms of peace agreed on.”

Myths and Superstitions Around Solar Eclipses’, timeanddate.org

From their ‘hungry demons, thieving dogs’ heading:

“In Vietnam, people believed that a solar eclipse was caused by a giant frog devouring the Sun, while Norse cultures blamed wolves for eating the Sun.

In ancient China, a celestial dragon was thought to lunch on the Sun, causing a solar eclipse. In fact, the Chinese word of an eclipse, chih or shih, means to eat.

According to ancient Hindu mythology, the deity Rahu is beheaded by the gods for capturing and drinking Amrita, the gods’ nectar. Rahu’s head flies off into the sky and swallows the Sun causing an eclipse.

Korean folklore offers another ancient explanation for solar eclipses. It suggests that solar eclipses happen because mythical dogs are trying to steal the Sun.

Traditionally, people in many cultures get together to bang pots and pans and make loud noises during a solar eclipse. It is thought that making a noise scares the demon causing the eclipse away.”

The word ‘eclipse’ comes from ekleipsis, the ancient Greek word for being abandoned.

Ancient Maya Predicted 1991 Solar Eclipse’, (from early hieroglyphic codices) livescience.com

9 responses to “Monday’s Aug. 21 Total Solar Eclipse

  1. and given win won for the zipper’s earlier commnent today: “waiting on the eclipse…I’ve got $5 w/some local looneys that Jesus does NOT return w/this sign & portent in the heavens.”

    if you happen to see her walking abroad, spreading messages of peace and love, and denouncing the money-chambers in the Temple, i leave it to your own consciences whether to advise his looneys of this truth. were they his fellow streetbillies, or folks at the bible mission? he hadn’t said.

  2. win won for the zipper

    the total eclipse of the heart occurred in 1983. for most of us, seems like.
    think Bonnie Tyler is thanking…whoever…that she can rake in a few more bucks on this eclipse?

    the highlights will be on tv right? as bart simpson said when he got a telescope, “who knew the universe was so boring?”

    or maybe we can hope it’ll be a black hole sun? (a la Soundgarden).

    enjoy the show kids! but don’t forget that old family wisdom about certain things making one go blind.

    • ha; i’d pinged the bonnie tyler song as well, thought i was being dignified’ by not bringing it. ;-) nasa says the last total eclipse in the contiguous US was 1979; a nova ad came on last night after a mystery we’d watched claiming: 99 years, which is what mr. wd’s cousin had claimed. they’re all still in lincoln for the funeral, so they’d do a whole eclipse party thingie. but the nova spectacle show for *tonight* was simply…a crazed spectacle turn-off. cripes.

      NASA’s lying! yeah, i called our daughter to remind her to tell her kids, she answered that their schools are quite aware of the dangers, tra la la. gonna be about 80% here, but even if there’s a cloud cover, it’ll be noticeable.

      okay, funny on the simpson question…

      • win won for the zipper

        bad solar eclipse! messing up people’s natural work cycles. I didn’t see any mickey d’s employees outside. no way no how. but some of everyone else…seems like it. 92% here in Olympia. or 94%. my lumenometer is a bit off. some wag plucked a big sunflower and was holding it up. I did see one guy in a classic American pose: solar shades on…dithering w/his phone, while leaning against his Dodge Earthshaker truck. but i’d bet the most common phrase in Murka today was, “oh my god.” now if the vampires figure out how to fake solar eclipses…

        • ha ha ha, your wish might come true. did you wish upon a star? or just the one named ‘sol’? ‘Solar eclipse to cost American businesses $700mn in lost productivity’

          ‘https://www.rt.com/business/400413-us-millions-dollars-solar-eclipse/

          more soon, oh the time passes so quickly now that i’m an olde crone…

          • win won for the zipper

            I remember ’79. “mommy, mommy, how many people in history had to go blind before we invented cereal boxes to put holes in or special sunglasses? and why?” “don’t ask stupid questions. only the ungodly go blind. and b/c god said so, that’s why.”

            I didn’t have my solar eclipse reading glasses w/me but I snuck a few peeks from someone else’s. I was really more interested in the responses of people. seemed like some folks were impressed with an actual spectacle…at least until NFL starts. $700 million in ron paul fiat money lost??? oh boo hoo. the signs in the heavens may be completely or more than natural, (who knows?), but can philosophy peer into how philistine our society, our economy is, w/o going blind? I bet many employers docked personal leave from their staff for viewing the eclipse. if Amazon has its way, no slave-ployee will ever worry their in-the-cia Cloud head about such trivia again. as in Oceania, no experience outside the social world of Big Bro will be permitted. it’ll be all nature nausea reinforcement, all the time, as Huxley said. when the power went out in LA in ’94 due to some other natural activity, earth quacks or what have you, many people freaked out cuz they had never seen the Milky Way before. the vastness of those empty spaces frightened ’em just a bit.

            • while i appreciate your cynical (?) reading of it, i was soooo disappointed that it was a bust from my backyard in bumfuck county, co. sooo much better a few years ago when we could at least see shimmers of broken light on perpendicular surfaces. ach, yes, clouds obscured the sun off and on…but 80% moon obscured? i don’t think so.

              and yes, OT as all giddy-up, but it seems that ‘antifa’ has almost predictably been corporatized.

              Democracy Now: “We speak to Mark Bray, author of the new book, “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.”

              MARK BRAY: And then, in the United States, we can look at anti-racist action in the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, which took some of these methods of confronting neo-Nazis and fascists wherever they assemble, shutting down their organizing and, as they said, going where they go. Today, in an article I wrote for The Washington Post called “Who are the antifa?” I explain this and show how today’s antifa in the United States are really picking up the tradition where these groups left off. And their movement has really accelerated with the unfortunate ascendance of the alt-right following President Trump.

              wapo is behind a paywall for me by now, dinnae look up the publisher, but ye gods and little fishes.

              sleep well, i yam tired as any old shoe w/ broken down heels. phooey, what i need is a song of restoration, right? titi !

  3. well, dagnabbit! that’s exactly what i was hoping to see here. some time back we had a similar 80% sun obscure eclipse, and i’d even taken photos of the shimmering crescents on vertical surfaces. trippy and wonderful. yesterday? nuttin’. now there were a few clouds floating around, but even when the sun was out…nuttin’. there was one bit of a tie when the light was…different, and the birds hid in the trees, but what.a.bust.here.

    thanks, that cheered me up, bruce. or made me envious. or…both. ;-)

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