Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solar Eclipse


Nothing there is beyond hope, nothing that can be sworn impossible, nothing wonderful, since Zeus, father of the Olympians, made night from mid-day, hiding the light of the shining Sun, and sore fear came upon men.
Archilochus (description of the total solar eclipse of April 6, 648 BCE)

A complete solar eclipse will take place Wednesday morning (July 22) that will last for six minutes and 39 seconds, the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century. Those of not in the far East will be able to watch live webcasts of the event (information at http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/20jul_longestsolareclipse.htm?list3658).

There won't be another eclipse like this in the lifetime of anyone now living. And those 12 decades just a blip in cosmic time. A wonderful inspiration for discussions about the nature of time and the wonder of the universe with students.

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