Eclipses

by Carter Howe

Eclipses

An eclipse is when one celestial body enters the shadow (either partially or completely) of another celestial body. A solar eclipse is when the Moon is in front of the Sun casting a shadow over Earth. But a lunar eclipse is the Moon entering the shadow of the Earth. The very first eclipse was recorded in Babylon in 721 B.C. Did you know that the Mayans actually had a table for forecasting eclipses.

Lunar Eclipse

Did you know that in 1504, Christopher Columbus had used a blood- moon to scare native Jamaicans into feeding him and his men. And that is because people both feared and loved the lunar eclipse. They didn't like it because of the blood-red moon and people were getting really scared and they had blamed god for what was happening to the moon. So those people better be ready for March 23, 2016 because that is predicted to be the date of the next lunar eclipse. Also, if there are extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a volcanic eruption, the moon will appear a darker shade of red.
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Solar Eclipse

Out of all solar eclipses that happen only 35 percent are partial, 32 percent annual, 28 percent total and 5 percent are hybrid eclipses. Also the solar eclipse can only occur on a new moon. Did you know that the moon moves away from Earth about 4 centimeters a year. And the next solar eclipse is going to be on March 9, 2016. And on that day you better have a pinhole camera because that is the best way to look at a solar eclipse. Because without those cameras your retina will be severely damaged but you will not be permanently blind.

How the Lunar Eclipse occurs

The lunar eclipse only happens when it is a full moon. A total lunar eclipse is when the Earth, Moon and Sun are perfectly aligned.A blood-red moon is formed when the Moon is completely in the Earth's shadow created by the sun.
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Can the Solar Eclipse Really Blind you

Warnings of complete blindness are totally overstated. The condition called retinopathy is when the bright light of the sun damages your retina in the back of your eyeball. In 1612, a scientists conducted an experiment and looked at the solar eclipse for a couple seconds and his eyesight was dim for an hour. And at one point, Sir Isaac Newton had looked at a solar eclipse in the mirror and he had gone blind for three days and eventually he had recovered but he said that sometimes if he had closed his eyes that he could see a bright light. So all in all, you cannot become completely blind because most of the retina damage will heal but some may be permanent.
Solar eclipse: 2015 - Stargazing Live - BBC One

Sources

  • "Eclipse." The Encyclopedia Americana. 2000 ed. Vol. 9. Danbury, CT: Grolier, 2000. 582-87. Print

  • Britt, Robert Roy. "Lunar Eclipses." Lunar Eclipse. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015

  • Rao, Joe. "Solar Eclipse." Solar Eclipse. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.

  • Pappas, Stephanie. "Can a Solar Eclipse Really Blind You?"LiveScience.com. N.p., 18 May 2012. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.