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Sleepy's Sister 08-18-2017 10:35 PM

The Great American Eclipse
I know some ancient cultures had very advanced astronomical systems, and anticipated the coming eclipses, but I've always wondered how they explained them. I've been reading some articles about this lately, and I love so many of these stories. The Vikings believed a pair of "sky wolves," Skoll and Hati, chased the sun and the moon, and when they finally caught them, they devoured them. The Vietnamese believed it was a giant toad that would eat the astral bodies, and finding them distasteful, would spit them out. In western Siberia it was vampires. The Navajo viewed eclipses as a time to reflect on the awesomeness of the cosmos. Ancient Koreans believed that "fire dogs" were trying to steal the sun and the moon. The Inuits believed that the sun and moon were diseased, and they protected themselves from contamination. An eclipse even ended a war between the Medes and the Lydians on the spot in 535 BC in what is now Turkey. Both sides were frightened that they had angered the gods, and fearing the gods' wraths, they made peace. Maybe we should take a lesson from the Medes and Lydians and view the upcoming eclipse as a sign that we need to stop the hate and make peace with one another.

Ike Savage 08-18-2017 11:22 PM

I kind of liked Tolkien's take on that, in which there were originally two lamps, and later on, two trees that created the light of the sun and the moon. Something like that, anyway. Later on, a great hero gained possession of a Silmaril and sailed his boat across the night sky... mimicking a star or maybe the moon, I think. What made it particularly neat was how the mythology was woven in to a series of ongoing stories. Sort of the "Death on a Pale Horse" by Piers Anthony concept.

> I know some ancient cultures had very advanced astronomical systems, and anticipated the coming eclipses

Around 2000 I visited Chaco Canyon in New Mexico and was blown away by the Anasazi - Pueblo structures, which were sort of huge, precision-made, astronomical structures. There was also a pretty amazing sun-cycle and moon-cycle measuring glyph at one of the buttes sitting behind two giant slabs which measured in sunlight and moonlight. They apparently correctly predicted the full 18-point cycle of the sun's position (or was it the moon? or both?).

Btw, I loved how the classic Eurocomic Tintin revisited the eclipse trick that Columbus once played on the Caribbean natives. In this case, Tintin played the trick on the Incas.

Ike Savage 08-19-2017 01:09 AM

just bumped in to this:

it's a multiple-platform app (including web/browser) to show what the eclipse will look like in your town.

Sleepy's Sister 08-20-2017 03:15 PM

I've always wanted to go to Chaco Canyon, along with Machu Picchu. A few years ago I went to Teotihuacan, outside of Mexico City, and I thought it was fascinating.

Loved the Tintin link! My youngest son was a huge fan of the comic when he was little.

Ike Savage 08-20-2017 03:53 PM

btw, i wonder how many poor unfortunates are going to scald their retinas tomorrow.

i was thinking about digging out my old tanning goggles, but quickly decided it would be a poor idea. instead i think i'll just use my little nintendo DS, with my back to the sun. apparently digital devices are safe as viewers as long as you don't zoom in on the sun, in which case you can fry their sensors from what i understand.

since i usually sketch when i'm sitting outside, it'll be interesting to see how that goes with the changing levels of sunlight.

Sleepy's Sister 08-21-2017 08:52 AM

I hope people are careful today. I wonder how many people know that they can't even glance at the sun for a second. ...and then there are those vendors who were selling fake eclipse glasses. That is criminal! I'm content with just sitting outside with a cool beverage and watching the backyard turn dark and then light. I might take some photos of the changing shadows. I wonder how our dog will do. I won't have her outside with us, because I don't want to risk her vision either. Thought about driving 8 hours north to be in the zone of totality, but I'm glad we didn't now after seeing the traffic on the news. I hope people will post their eclipse experiences. I'd love to hear about them.

Sleepy's Sister 08-21-2017 02:10 PM

The time in years between total eclipse's happening in the exact same place is 360-410 years. That means that todays phenomenon isn't a once in a lifetime experience, it is a once in 5 lifetimes experience! That is pretty darn amazing!

Ike Savage 08-21-2017 02:13 PM

the eclipse has begun in my area. i just went up to the roof to survey the cloud situation, but the sun was so hot and bright it practically blasted me off the roof. i couldn't even watch it through my nintendo, backwards.

i guess this is why a lot of sites recommend making a pinhole viewer, where the image is being projected through a pinhole and you're watching it on a screen. ...which can also be done with the small openings between leaves on a tree and such.

Sleepy's Sister 08-21-2017 11:06 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Too much cloud cover, and not enough eclipse here in New Orleans. Thought it would have gotten darker with an 80% eclipse. I've been enjoying photos on the internet. My favorite is this one from NASA. Attachment 7141

Coil_Smoke 08-22-2017 08:17 AM

Ninety Three Million Miles To A Mystery
1 Attachment(s)
An odd cool wind wafted thru central Maryland at the start of the eclipse. It was typically hot and humid, the temperature dropped 4 degrees during the eclipse. We too had about 80 % occultation. Apparently people out and about in Baltimore saw/noticed a lot of nothing, even when the spotty thunder showers moved out of the way. I thought the sky would have seriously darkened. The cloudy conditions did most of the darkening.
I remember seeing little yellow crescents filtering thru the playground dust many years ago. We had several Solar eclipses during grade school so we learned about pin holes and such. Not too many years back I started wondering why we don't see round images of the Sun cast on the ground under trees every day?

Sleepy's Sister 08-22-2017 09:17 AM

You captured some cool shadow eclipses.

Ike Savage 08-22-2017 05:04 PM

i like the shadow eclipse a lot. for some reason i didn't see much of it through the trees in CLE, but i did bump in to this cool little vid of the effect, online:
(you can save it as a video if you like; it's only 2megs)

otherwise, pretty much same experience as those above. 80% coverage here; some darkening of the sky; mild temp drop. the strength of the current sun really made everything harder. certainly during different hours / season, things would have been different.

i made a little pinhole viewer out of a watercolor box, but it didn't help much. ditto, my nintendo shots of the sun during max occlusion. for those here on my FB list, you can see some photos, but mainly they're notable for a cactus sketch i'm working on and a shot of big bird trying to steal my guacamole. (long story)

now, i'm taken to understand that the moon is steadily moving away from the earth, and in 500-600 million years we will no longer be able enjoy solar eclipses at all! the joke's on the moon though, since there's not going to be much life left on earth anyway. :P

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