Eclipse Facts and Fancies

Sep 01
2017
by Harley White

EclipseFactsFancies 400

When the Moon moves between the Earth and Sun
then comes a rare happening that can stun,
above all a syzygy alliance,
the term from the Greek in astro-science.

Once solar eclipses in history
were viewed as a frightening mystery.
Cultural superstitions abounded
as rumors spread far and wide unfounded.

Many imagined the light was devoured
by dragons or beasts super empowered.
Herodotus wrote of one that brought peace
and made warring factions their battle cease.

The Chinese of old took drastic measures
against stargazers for drunken pleasures
that altered their senses though being skilled;
hence they failed in prediction and were killed.

A poem was penned to commemorate
the court officials’ miserable fate,
which stated, ‘though sad, it was risible
that they could not spy the invisible’.

The death of England’s King Henry the first
prompted the notion of omens accursed
for rulers; ‘twas just after one had passed
described as that “hideous darkness” vast.

There are tales and legends to tell galore.
But later on, researchers learned much more.
Curiously, helium was revealed
because of our star’s disk being concealed.

Yet the one that is “most important” called,
made Einstein famous, and left him enthralled,
was the shadowing of nineteen nineteen
when theory entered the proven scene.

Eddington relativity tested—
which to this day has never been bested
as general cosmic model supreme—
showing warped spacetime through bent starlight scheme.

In the total umbra it’s black as night
till the exiting shroud sets the Sol right.
At starting and finish as it proceeds
occurs the spectacle of Baily’s beads

with a ‘diamond ring’ that’s an extra boon
resulting from the terrain of the moon;
thereupon that stellar phenomenon
is gone, though its memory lingers on.

Thus, solar eclipses provide a chance
to astronomical knowledge advance
as well as to witness a great event,
one that is literally heaven-sent!

Then it’s back to our grinds and muddled minds
wherever our personal path unwinds…

~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * *

Painting ~ “Astronomers Studying an Eclipse” ~ by Antoine Caron ~ 1571

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Antoine_Caron_Astronomers_Studying_an_Eclipse.jpg

Comments

    You need to be logged in to leave a comment

    Astropoetry Blog

    Jun 21

    GENESIS

    by Mirosław Wójcik, Nowy Sącz, Poland

    Where did we come from…? If I believed, I wouldn't ask relying on primeval records of history formulated in a holy volume. Despite this genesis of mankind has been bothering...

    Read More..
    Jun 20

    2018 AstroPoetry Winner - Children’s Category

    Bob Eklund, AstroPoetry Blog Editor

    Congratulations Entrants First Place Hadassah Ogutu, Nairobi,Kenya The Stars of the Night Sky Starless night Darkness around What a canvas For the artist delight. Twinkle twinkle little star What a...

    Read More..
    Jun 19

    2018 AstroPoetry Winner - Young Adults Category

    Bob Eklund, AstroPoetry Blog Editor

    Congratulations Entrants First Place Xulu Lin, Dunedin, New Zealand My Quantised Sky I look it up in my textbook, 'quantised' Featured with discrete values and states. I look upon...

    Read More..
    Jun 19

    Skies of Romania (49)

    By Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (design Valentin Grigore)

    Near the Monument of the Heroes of the Nation in the Carol I Park, Bucharest…

    Read More..
    Jun 19

    Skies of Romania (48)

    By Valentin Grigore and Andrei Dorian Gheorghe

    Near Dracula's Tower in the Chindia Park, Targoviste…

    Read More..
    Jun 14

    Starburst Celebration

    by Harley White

    In eighteen eighty-seven was found by astronomer Lewis Swift a seeming nebula to astound with guise of glowing cloud adrift. From Earth more than two million light-years later studies showed...

    Read More..