(1015) Sun 31 Mar 91 8:44
By: Michael Corbin
Re: Eclipses In History
@MSGID: 1:104/428 3f88bfda
* Forwarded from "Astronomy"
* Originally from Bruce Watson
* Originally dated 03-29-91 13:42
[From a brochure for the June 22-July 8,1973 AFRICAN ECLIPSE CRUISE
of the Cunard CANBERRA]
ECLIPSES IN HISTORY: SUPERSTITION, SCIENCE, FASCINATION, AND
2137 B.C. -- The earliest written record of a total solar eclipse
comes from China. Two royal astronomers, Hi and Ho were too drunk
to perform the eclipse rites of chanting, beating drums and
shooting arrows at the dragon that was devouring the sun. The
emperor ordered them beheaded for their sins.
1900 B.C. -- In southern England stands an awesome arrangements of
stones that have been the subject of countless studies, poems and
legends. Evidence indicates that Stonehenge was a brilliantly
conceived astronomical observatory. certain holes were apparently
used as an eclipse predictor.
585 B.C May 28 -- The most famous solar eclipse of classical times
occurred in the midst of a battle between the Medes and the
Lydians. Both sides regarded it as an omen and immediately ceased
hostilities, thereby ending a six year war.
840 A.D. May 5 -- Louis of Bavaria, son of Charlemagne, and head
of a vast empire supposedly died of fright during an eclipse. His
three sons immediately fought over succession, resulting in the
division of the empire into what is today France, Germany and
1560 Aug 21 -- The announcement of a forthcoming eclipse in France
caused many Frenchmen to panic. They fought one another so that
they could be next in line for the confessional. One beleaguered
parish priest tried to calm the populace down by announcing that
since there were so many waiting to confess a decision had been
made to postpone the eclipse for two weeks.
1780 Oct 27 -- During the Revolutionary War, the first American
eclipse expedition was organized and sent out from Harvard College.
A special immunity agreement was negotiated with the British so
that the scientists could work unharmed. The Harvard expedition,
after all their efforts didn't see the eclipse because they chose
a site outside the path of totality!
1851 Jul 28 -- During totality the first successful photograph was
taken of the sun's corona.
1878 Aug 18 -- Thomas A. Edison set up his instruments in a Wyoming
chicken coup to view this total solar eclipse. When the sun dimmed
the chickens came in to roost. The great scientist spent so much
time fighting chickens that he had only a few seconds of the more
than three minutes of totality to observe anything. This is one
of the world's great chicken stories. [John A. Eddy, S&T, June,
1973, pp. 343, says this story is apocryphal; meaning it didn't
1919 Apr 29 -- This eclipse of the sun was used to dramatically
confirm Einstein's Theory of Relativity. The experiment proved the
speed of light would be slowed slightly by powerful gravity.
1925 Jan 24 -- Those above 96th Street in Manhattan saw a total
eclipse while those below 96th Street saw a partial eclipse.
Another typical day in New York.
1948 May 9 -- National elections scheduled in may in Korea were
postponed because a total eclipse was to occur on the date
originally set for the balloting.
1966 Apr 20 -- During the day of this eclipse Hindu pilgrims by the
thousands plunged themselves into sacred bathing tanks in Northern
India, hoping for protection from the demons. In the same year the
Gemini 12 team of astronauts took the first picture of a solar
eclipse from outside the earth's atmosphere.
1972 Jul 10 -- The "world's first floating public eclipse
expedition" set sail from New York with 834 passengers to achieve
a spectacular rendezvous with totality 900 miles at sea.
1973 Jun 30 -- CANBERRA chosen to be the ship for the "world"s
second floating public eclipse expedition" to witness the longest
eclipse until 2150. [The AFRICAN ECLIPSE CRUISE was completely sold
out... But I had a second chance with the Cunard ADVENTURER with
over four minutes of totality.]
--- TBBS v2.1/NM
@PATH: 104/428 422 268/102
* Origin: ParaNet Information Service -- Leading UFO Research Network (1:104/4