Monday, October 03, 2005

Solar Eclipse

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Uploaded on October 3, 2005
by rowrguez

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that there would be a solar eclipse today over Europe, Africa and parts of Asia.

What is it about a solar eclipse that still excites us?
Why does it still seem magical? Mystical?

I can understand that for our ancestors this was a disturbing phenomenon, but why is it still so enchanting for us? Don't we all know it's only one object in the way of another. Nothing more to it. Is all!

We love the mysterious and the supernatural, one might say, yet a solar eclipse isn't supernatural. It is very natural, only in a super, grand way.

I react the same way to any eclipse and I can't understand why. I read fantasy knowing very well it is just that. Why then do I bother? What is it that attracts me to a world I don't live in? What is it that attracts all of us?

If you want to read a beutiful magical eclipse experience, please read Yzabel's description in the comments.

There's also a pretty picture in the Guardian.

Uploaded on October 3, 2005
by Vedia

Categories: ,


Yzabel said...

Heh, and I so totally missed this one because it was aaaalll super-cloudy and rainy over my area this morning. Bleh!

What's so fantastic about it... honestly, I don't know. To me, it's simply beautiful, and I don't need more of a reason to enjoy an eclipse. I've seen a few partial ones in my life, but the one I'll never forget remains the total eclipse in August 1999. What made it more magic was that the weather was awful, yet the "miracle" happened. We had travelled a good 200 km to see it, in a field in the north of Alsace with guys from an astronomy club, and by 11 am, we were all starting to wring our hands in sorrow. Barely five minutes before the due time, the clouds right around the sun got sparse, allowing us to see... well, just the sun itself. It looked like a hole in the sky, and we then got it all--the shadow creeping on us at high speed, all animals having gone and fallen silent, then the corona. Beautiful and magic. Once it was done, the clouds came back, as if to mean that the show was now over. So yeah, I sure as hell won't ever forget that :)

(As "collateral damage", my parents alos picked up a stray cat in the field on that day. She's still with them today, and since she had watched the clipse with us, they called her Luna.)

Melly said...

Wow, what a beautiful story, Yzabel. You just made it even more mystical and magical for me.

It's interesting how an eclipse affects animals. I totally forgot about that.

Thank you so much for sharing, I now feel more full, if that makes sense :)

elcapitanhink said...

It's pretty simple, actually.

For the existentialist in us all, it provides a sense of scale to our daily lives that makes bitching about gas prices seem ridiculous.

Melly said...

Ha :)
But for the rationalist in us (or in some of us)?

Trée said...

I'm with Josh. Every once in a while mother nature reminds us that perhaps we are not the center of the universe. And yes Melly, you did miss the fun this weekend ;-)

Eric Mutta said...

I think two things contribute to the mystic nature of these events:

*Their rarity. An eclipse doesn't happen every monday at 5am and unlike The Teletubbies, if you miss one, there are no repeat episodes next week.

*Their autonomy. An eclipse happens all by itself, seemingly with no white-bearded individual pulling the strings.

There's also the fact that it's "out there", and a lot of things out there are still a mystery to us. Witness for example, the monstrosity of a structure that is The Great Wall (not the one in China - this one would take you 250 million years to get to, if you ran at 300 million metres per second).

Melly said...

Shucks, Trée. I know. When I went over to your blog today and saw everything, I knew I was at least a day late :)

And yes, Josh spoke words of wisdom indeed.

Melly said...

Eric, you're killing me - The Teletubbies?

Well, you always know how to rationalize things so well :)

Eric Mutta said...

Melly:>Eric, you're killing me - The Teletubbies?

LOL, yes The Teletubbies. These little fiends can be found bouncing around the screen at 6am, for anyone looking for a sure sign that the world is about to end.

How kids find the stuff entertaining is puzzling on the scale of quantum consciousness itself. Then again, might have something to do with the fact that I was born 90 years old :-)

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

I am always mystified by natural events of this sort; I DO think it reaches down into the primitive parts of our being far older and more significant than the crap we put up with (which in the scheme of things is BEYOND shallow and self-serving) on a daily basis. :-)


Melly said...

Eric, they love the repitition - again again.
That's what kids do --cringe--

AriK, that sounds like a sound explanation to me. I know that there are many theories about our behaviour explained by our past as hunters-gatherers (as if we changed much - ha :)

elcapitanhink said...

Wisdom? Pfft. No way. I am as dorky about such phenomena as you can imagine. One of my favorite things about the last eclipse I saw was my parallel lines experiment--if you set up your magnifying glass right, you can burn cool shapes onto paper. In fact I am pretty sure I still have that in a box somewhere. :-?

Eric Mutta said...

Melly:>Eric, they love the repitition - again again.

Aaah, then they wont be disappointed when they grow up and learn what the words "overdue rent" mean...Like lambs to the slaughter *sigh*.

Josh:>Wisdom? Pfft. No way. I am as dorky about such phenomena as you can imagine.

Aha! A partner in crime! Eeeeexcellent [insert the usual evil maniacal laugh here, preferally in Dolby-enhanced surround sound].

Melly said...

Josh, you can do the mangnifying glass thing any sunny day, don't need an eclipse for that.
Ha! I thought you'd have a "problem" with the word "wisdom" being bestowed upon you ;)

Eric - all dorky guys are welcome here :)

elcapitanhink said...

Umm, yeah, I suppose you could make an eclipse-shaped burn mark on a piece of paper, but it wouldn't be as cool, by a longshot. :)

Melly said...

Oh, I see what you mean now. No, I didn't understand you before. Sorry. My mistake.
Well, now that sounds cool.

elcapitanhink said...

You might as well come out and call me a dork now, Melly. :)

Melly said...

But you're such a lovable dork, Josh ;)

(I think many of us feel the same way around here though. Eric for sure, and I do too, I even took a quiz to prove it :)