Solar eclipses are not rare events; in fact a total eclipse of the sun occurs at least once every eighteen months. They don't always occur in the same place though and a single spot on the earth will experience totality only about once every three to four hundred years on average. I've never seen a total eclipse although there have been two in
that have been close to total in recent decades, 1999 and 2015. Tomorrow there
will be an eclipse that will be called "the Great American Eclipse"
because its route looks almost designed to provide the best view from within
the United States of America.
The USA is
still one of the most powerful and influential nations on earth, therefore this
eclipse is being widely publicized. It will begin at dawn in the central Pacific
Ocean and will head for the US
west coast appearing first in Oregon
at local time, that's British Summer Time. The path of
totality will be a seventy-mile-wide corridor running from the Pacific North
West and Rocky Mountain states of Oregon,
Idaho and Wyoming;
then into Nebraska, Missouri
and through the Deep South states through to the
Atlantic coast at . A person standing still at sea level will
experience two minutes and forty seconds of totality. Outside the totality zone
the eclipse will be a partial one to a greater or lesser degree. It will be
visible from northwest Charleston, South
Carolina Europe only as a bite-sized
partial segment just before sunset. The cause of a solar eclipse is very
simple; the moon travels between the sun and the earth blocking out some or all
of its rays. The experience is like night suddenly falling for a short time; no
longer than seven minutes thirty-two seconds. It's easy to work out when eclipses
will occur in the future by calculating the movement of the moon and sun with
the rotation of the earth, see: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2017-august-21.
However, for superstitious people, the experience of an eclipse can be frightening and loaded with meaning, usually malevolent. Eclipses have been responsible for hysteria, mass-panic, belief that the world has ended and multiple suicides. The
in the early 21st century is sadly not immune to this and there almost
certainly will be some kind adverse action tomorrow afternoon for particular
kinds of people, especially in rural and insular areas of the country where the
Bible and the gun still rule as the twin pillars of civilization. It doesn't
help that the first place in America
to see the eclipse is called Salem.
This is an infamous name in American history because in 1692 there was a trial
in Salem in which twenty people
were convicted of witchcraft in a scene reminiscent of medieval Europe.
Most of them were hung from trees and the others died in prison. This crime
took place in a different Salem
though; one in
on the other end of the continent; the Essex County, Massachusetts Salem
that will start the eclipse lies near the coast of Oregon.
Nevertheless the same name alone might be enough to convince some Americans
that this is the date chosen by God to initiate the Last Days as foretold in
the Book of Revelations. Who knows what people in that state of mind might do?
As a result the emergency services and National Guard will be on standby,
especially in and around Salem.
Many Americans are followers of Wicca, a neopagan religion inspired by ancient
pre-Christian British rites. The eclipse is called the "Black Moon"
in Wicca and it is very meaningful spiritually, but not necessarily bad.
The same goes for its significance in astrology, see: https://astrologyking.com/solar-eclipse-august-2017/.
The focus on the United States
with this eclipse may be a portent for radical change in that country, perhaps
it is connected to the rise of Donald Trump and the "2016 Effect",
This is also the day that the first commercial flight will land at ,
although the eclipse will not be visible from the island, see: https://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/st-helena-airport-maiden-flight.html.
on that same day has also been
chosen... coincidentally, for the
moment when Big Ben's chimes stop for about four years of building work, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40922169.
There are many public events, street parties and other celebrations to mark the
eclipse. I hope my American readers all enjoy it. Be careful not to look at the
sun without one of the safe viewing methods, see: https://www.space.com/33797-total-solar-eclipse-2017-guide.html.
Also tune into Space Weather on the HPANWO Show on HPANWO Radio for a complete
report next Thursday, see links column. St
See here for more information: https://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/astrology-and-eclipse.html.