FAQ on Solar Eclipse:
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FAQ on Solar Eclipse :

Solar Eclipse – an opportunity for Science Popularisation:

About the Eclipse ?
Totality occurs when the Earth, Moon and Sun move into a direct line, with the Moon in the middle. When the Sun is not at the zenith during the totality, we get an annular eclipse. In this the outer rim of the Sun in visible.

 Why Does a Total Solar Eclipse Occur ?
By a fortunate coincidence, the sun’s diameter is 400 times larger that that of the moon, and at the same time, it is 400 times as for away. From where we are, this creates the illusion that they are the same size. If we look through the filter at the Sun, it looks exactly like the Moon on a full moon night.

When the moon passes in front of the sun, its shadow falls on the earth it appears to exactly cover the sun’s disc. This is what a solar eclipse is a shadow. So in essence, an eclipse is no more evil than the shadow of a tree, or a tall building. The moon just blocks off the light of the sun for a brief, beautiful moment.

 Are Solar Eclipses dangerous ?
Solar eclipses are not in the least bit dangerous if observed with proper care. Normally, one cannot look directly at the Sun because it is too bright. But during an eclipse, just before and after totality, it is possible to look directly at the sun without immediate discomfort and this is where the danger lies. You can damage your eyes without knowing it. It is essential to use a safe viewing filter to observe the eclipse as the filter drastically cuts down the strength of the sun’s rays to safe limits. Reduction of the sun’s intensity by factor of 10,000 is recommended. This filter reduces the intensity by a factor of 1,00,000.

 Whar are the facts about eclipses in history ?
Since the date of each eclipse, the has occurred and will occur in the next few thousand years can be calculated with great accuracy, events from many ancient chronicles and annuals where eclipse are mentioned can be dated with same precision. Records of eclipses were maintained from ancient times in Mesopotamia, Assyria, Greece, Egypt, China, and India. One of the most famous of these references in Herodotus account of a battle between the Lydians and the Medes which went on for several years until a total solar eclipse occurred. Taking this as signal from the gods, the combatants Laid down their arms and made peace. That event occurred on 28 may 585 BC.

  Why are there myths about eclipses ?
Eclipses have always left a deep impression on beholders, for the loss of the sun- the source of life, was considered a bad omen. For centuries, priests of ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and India kept the knowledge of eclipses to themselves. Because they could frighten the people into believing that they had power to cause eclipses at will. People were made to fear eclipses and to make sacrifices to guard against effects.

FAQ on Solar Eclipse

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