Saturday November 25, 2017
Home Opinion Rare Solar Ec...

Rare Solar Eclipse Thrills People in the US: Why in India, ‘Surya Grahan’ is Considered Inauspicious?

It is recommended by IDPH ( Illinois Department of Public Health) not to look at Sun with regular sunglasses or other colored films that do not block all ultraviolet light

0
69
Solar eclipse in the United States of America was a matter of huge excitement in America
Solar eclipse thrills people in the United States of America. Pixabay
  • Solar eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the moon partially or fully blocks the sun while passing between sun and earth
  • People booked hotel rooms a year in advance to witness the eclipse that occurred in North America, on August 21, 2017
  • While in the United States of America, everyone was excited to see the solar eclipse, in Hinduism, it is considered inauspicious 

– by Dr Bharti Raizada

Chicago, August 25, 2017: Eclipse means total or partial obstruction of one celestial body by another or a loss of power, success, or popularity. Solar eclipse occurs when moon partially or fully blocks the sun while passing between sun and Earth. It happened on Aug. 21, 2017 in North America. There was so much excitement for this phenomenon. I heard that to see the eclipse, people booked hotel rooms a year in advance. On the day of eclipse, many people travelled and lot of traffic was on roads. At some places, it took people 4 hrs to drive 2 miles and some people even charged travelers’ up to $ 120 for a few minutes parking in their personal parking lots. In Chicago, there were four miles long lines to collect free special eclipse glasses from Adler Planetarium and Daley Plaza. As it was Monday, many people took off from work and children skipped school to enjoy this rare event. It was a cloudy day but still people were happy with whatever they got to see. There were speculations that stars would be visible during day time, however it did not happen.

It is recommended by IDPH ( Illinois Department of Public Health) not to look at Sun with regular sunglasses or other colored films that do not block all ultraviolet light.

Ways to see the Solar eclipse:
1. Special eclipse glasses-ISO-12312-2 compliant pair of special shades
2. No. 14 Welder’s glasses
3. Sun Funnel, which is a device which projects the light from Telescope and gives magnified image of sun on a screen
4. Pinhole box
5. Telescope with special filters

Effect Of Solar Eclipse: Eye Damage
1. Solar Retinopathy, which affects central vision, is caused by looking at sun directly. Usually it does not happen because of protective reflexes consisting of blinking and pupillary constriction and usually people do not look at sun continuously for a long period of time. During Eclipse, people stare at sun for longer periods and natural reflexes may not work as well, as the light is not so bright. There is no acute treatment. Vision, usually, slowly improves over days or months. Sometimes permanent damage to eye and blindness can result.
2. UV keratitis is inflammation of cornea. Symptoms are pain, blurred vision, light sensitivity etc. It usually occurs 6-12 hrs after the exposure and usually improves on its own over a few days.

Effects of Solar Eclipse on birds and animals:
Some scientists have reported in past that birds and animals start their evening routine when darkness happens during daytime. If this darkness occurs only for a couple of minutes, they get confused. Some animals daily routine gets disturbed, while some others are not affected by this change.

While solar eclipse in the United States of America, was a matter of immense excitement, in Hinduism, it is considered inauspicious and it is believed that everything on earth gets contaminated during Eclipse. This period of inauspiciousness is also called ‘sutak’. Sutak is usually for four ‘prahars’ or twelve hours, before the Grahan. During ‘sutak’ period, even the temple gates are closed.

Surya Grahan/Solar Eclipse occurs on Amavasya day. People do not eat any food during ‘sutak’ period. Already prepared food is saved by putting Tulsi leaves in it, as Tulsi is considered pious. Tulsi leaves are placed in remaining milk, Ghee, Salt etc. Pregnant women are advised not to do certain things like cutting and stitching. It is believed that if she does not follow certain guidelines, then baby can be born with birth defects or can have a birth mark. Birth mark on the unexposed body part is considered good, however, birthmark on exposed body part e.g. face, hands etc. is considered bad.

Also read: Millions Across US grab once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity of Experiencing a Rare Total Solar Eclipse

In the morning of Surya Grahan or Solar Eclipse day, people offer water, in a brass container, to Surya Bhagwan, Chant Om Suryay Namah and do three parikramas. They see sun rays in water and this act is considered good for eyes. People do not look at the Sun directly. Some people take water in a big container and look in it the image of Sun.

After the Surya Grahan/Solar Eclipse is over, people take bath, cook fresh food, donate food and other items to others, and feed birds and animals.

Next Story

Oldest recorded solar eclipse occurred 3,200 years ago

0
22
Solar eclipse

Cambridge University researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on October 30, 1207 BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could help historians to date Egyptian pharaohs.

“Solar eclipses are often used as a fixed point to date events in the ancient world,” said Professor Colin Humphreys from University of Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy.

Using a combination of the biblical text and an ancient Egyptian text, the researchers were able to refine the dates of the Egyptian pharaohs, in particular, the dates of the reign of Ramesses the Great, according to the study published in the journal Astronomy & Geophysics.

The biblical text in question comes from the Old Testament book of Joshua and has puzzled biblical scholars for centuries.

It records that after Joshua led the people of Israel into Canaan, a region of the ancient Near East that covered modern-day Israel and Palestine – he prayed: “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon. And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stopped until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.”

“If these words are describing a real observation, then a major astronomical event was taking place – the question for us to figure out is what the text actually means,” Humphreys said.

“Modern English translations, which follow the King James translation of 1611, usually interpret this text to mean that the Sun and Moon stopped moving,” Humphreys said.

“But going back to the original Hebrew text, we determined that an alternative meaning could be that the Sun and Moon just stopped doing what they normally do: they stopped shining. In this context, the Hebrew words could be referring to a solar eclipse, when the Moon passes between the earth and the Sun, and the Sun appears to stop shining,” Humphreys said.

This interpretation is supported by the fact that the Hebrew word translated ‘stand still’ has the same root as a Babylonian word used in ancient astronomical texts to describe eclipses, he added.

Independent evidence that the Israelites were in Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC can be found in the Merneptah Stele, an Egyptian text dating from the reign of the Pharaoh Merneptah, son of the well-known Ramesses the Great, the study said.

The large granite block, held in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, says that it was carved in the fifth year of Merneptah’s reign and mentions a campaign in Canaan in which he defeated the people of Israel.

Earlier historians had used these two texts to try to date the possible eclipse, but were not successful as they were only looking at total eclipses, in which the disc of the Sun appears to be completely covered by the moon as the moon passes directly between the earth and the sun.

What the earlier historians failed to consider was that it was instead an annular eclipse, in which the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, but is too far away to cover the disc completely, the researchers said.

In the ancient world, the same word was used for both total and annular eclipses.

The researchers developed a new eclipse code, which takes into account variations in the Earth’s rotation over time.

From their calculations, they determined that the only annular eclipse visible from Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC was on 30 October 1207 BC, in the afternoon.

If their arguments are accepted, it would not only be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded, it would also enable researchers to date the reigns of Ramesses the Great and his son Merneptah to within a year.

Using these new calculations, the researchers determined that Ramesses the Great reigned from 1276-1210 BC, with a precision of plus or minus one year.(IANS)

Next Story

Millions Across US grab once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity of Experiencing a Rare Total Solar Eclipse

Millions across USA experienced a rare total solar eclipse. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Total solar eclipse stretched from east coast of the USA to its west coast.

0
44
Solar Eclipse in USA
The moon is seen blotting out 81 percent of the sun during a solar eclipse in Washington, D.C., Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Diaa Bekheet/VOA)
  • Millions of people across the USA witnessed the rare solar eclipse which covered all the 50 states of the USA.
  • An estimated 200 million people were in the path of totality during the total solar eclipse, which stretched from east coast of the USA to its west coast.
  • It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the most of them as such a total solar eclipse happened after 99 years in the USA.

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22, 2017: Millions of people across the United States watched a rare total solar eclipse which darkened the skies from the Pacific to the Atlantic for the first time in 99 years.

The eclipse began Monday morning in the Western state of Oregon, causing the temperature to drop significantly as the moon covered the sun.

An estimated 200 million people were within a day’s drive of Monday’s path of totality, which stretched from Oregon’s Pacific Coast, across the U.S. heartland, all the way to South Carolina’s Atlantic Coast.

Millions Across US Marvel at Total Solar Eclipse. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
Millions Across US Marvel at Total Solar Eclipse. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Cities, towns and parks across the path had prepared for an influx of people with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses to watch what NASA said it expected to be the most watched and documented eclipse in history.

More than 100,000 people gathered in Madras, a town in Oregon with a population of 7,000 and one of the first places to witness the celestial event. According to the Los Angeles Times, the National Guard had to be called in to assist with traffic jams in Madras because so many people wanted to view the eclipse there.

The total eclipse lasted longest near Carbondale, Illinois, at 2 minutes and 44 seconds.

“It’s chilling, it’s cool, it’s a life experience,” said Gregg Toland, who traveled from Palatine, Illinois, to the airport in Perryville, Missouri, to see the eclipse in the path of totality through his telescope.

“It’s something you’ll never forget,” he told VOA.

Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017. Google Maps, NASA.
Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017. Google Maps, NASA.

The path of totality, where the moon’s shadow completely covered the sun, was a band about 100 kilometers wide, which cut diagonally across the country. Those outside that narrow band could still see a partial eclipse, extending up to Canada and down to the top of South America.

Observers at Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory gathered to witness the partial eclipse. “Seeing it in person was actually pretty cool because I was watching videos on YouTube. Seeing it in YouTube and seeing it real life is a whole different thing,” Jason Salamanca told VOA.

“When you see it on TV, you see it through other people’s eyes, but when you see it with your own eyes, it’s like a very different experience. It’s something I’ve never seen before,” said Angie Salamanca at the Griffith Observatory.

Woman looks up at sun after getting special eclipse viewing glasses at the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo: Georgia Lawson / VOA)
Woman looks up at sun after getting special eclipse viewing glasses at the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo: Georgia Lawson / VOA)

Hundreds of people waited in a line outside the National Air and Space Museum in Washington to see the moon cover more than 80 percent of the sun over the nation’s capital.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Shawdi, who watched the partial eclipse outside the museum, told VOA. “Who knows when the next total eclipse will be, so it’s just great sharing this memory with everyone,” she said.

The first city to enter totality was Lincoln Beach, Oregon, at 10:16 a.m. Pacific time and the last city to exit the totality was Charleston, South Carolina, at 2:48 p.m. Eastern time.

NASA video of the total solar eclipse in Hopkinsville, Kentucky:

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun and completely blots out the sun’s light, except for the corona of its outer atmosphere.

From Earth, the moon appeared to be the same size as the sun. This was possible because while the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun in diameter, it is also 400 times closer to Earth than the sun. When the two lined up exactly, the skies went dark.

The next total solar eclipse to touch the United States won’t be for another seven years. Outside of the United States, the next eclipse will occur in 2019 and will be visible from the South Pacific, Chile and Argentina.

VOA’s Kane Farabaugh, Carolyn Presutti and Elizabeth Lee contributed to this report.

 

Next Story

US to Witness Total Solar Eclipse in 99 Years: What Makes the August 21 Phenomenon So Special?

USA to witness a total solar eclipse in 90 years. All the 50 states would get a glimpse of at least partial solar eclipse.

0
95
Solar Eclipse. Pixabay

Washington D.C. [USA], August 19, 2017: Hold your breath to relish the most spectacular celestial dance. This has not happened in 99 years in the USA. The sun and the moon would sketch an arc by staging a shadow dance from east coast to the west.
The most remarkable date i.e., 21 August 2017, for which we have been impatiently waiting for almost a century now, is about to arrive.

The total solar eclipse in the United States of America is about to happen. Genevieve De Messieres, Astronomy Education Program Manager at Air and Space Museum calls this month as solar eclipse, an amazing phenomenon.

WHAT MAKES THIS SOLAR ECLIPSE SO SPECIAL?

A solar eclipse occurs when a new moon moves between the earth and the sun, hindering some or all of the sun’s rays from reaching the earth.As a consequence of this celestial movement, there are four kinds of the solar eclipse that are formed. When the moon eclipses the sun, it casts two types of shadow on earth, a small darker shadow i.e., Umbra and a large darker shadow i.e., Penumbra. The Total solar eclipse can be seen in Umbra region and a partial solar eclipse in Penumbra region. The path of totality is the region where a total solar eclipse can be seen.

The most exciting news is that all the 50 states of the USA will either witness a total solar eclipse and a partial solar eclipse. A narrow strip of the country more than 110 Km wide through 14 states will experience a total eclipse. And, the rest of the country will witness a partial solar eclipse.

If you wish to know the exact regions of both the eclipse, then follow this link- Eclipse 2017

If you are in Umbra region, then pre-total solar eclipse, do not forget to astound yourself from incredible experience of glimpsing Baily’s Beads and the Diamond Ring.
Just before the total solar eclipse, when the moon has almost fully covered the sun and the sunlight still continues to peep through the valleys and mountains on the edge of the moon, at this point, you can see the light in the form of beads. These beads are known as Baily’s Beads.

Diamond ring. Pixabay

Finally, the movement for which sky watchers are eagerly waiting for, the formation of the Diamond Ring, which is formed for few mini-seconds when a single bead of light remains in the sky. Once, the diamond ring disappears, the total solar eclipse is achieved.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT THE ECLIPSE: Have you ever wondered, that the moon which is 400 times smaller in size than that of the sun, can fully cover it? The answer to this question is an interesting fact, by cosmic chance, the sun is 400 times wider than the moon, but it is also 400 times farther than the moon. Due to which, both of these celestial bodies appear the same size when watched from the earth.

FUN LOVING WAYS TO VIEW SOLAR ECLIPSE

Don’t even think of watching solar eclipse with your bare eyes, it may lead to a lost eye sight. If you are in Washington D.C., you may go to Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum(NASM), they are setting up various viewing locations by putting up a telescope in these locations.

If you can not make up to these locations, then may preferable buy only certified eclipse watching glass. NASM is also distributing these glasses. You may get one for yourself.
Caution: After the eclipse, do not remove your glasses while watching towards the sky, it may give your eyes a burning sensation. First, look at the ground and then remove the glasses.

If somehow, you do not get these glasses, then are some interesting ways to view an eclipse. If you wish to enjoy these ways, then do follow each instruction properly.

ALSO WATCH:

TOP 10 DESTINATIONS TO WITNESS THE SPECTACULAR    TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

Total Solar eclipse.Pixabay

Madras, Oregon
This is the territory where the total solar eclipse will occur first at 10:19 a.m. PDT and would last for 2 minutes and 4 seconds.

Snake River Valley, Idaho
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:33 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

Casper, Wyoming
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:42 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 18 seconds.

Sandhills of western Nebraska
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 11:49 a.m. MDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

St. Joseph, Missouri
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:06 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Carbondale, Illinois
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:20 p.m. CDT and would last long for 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds.

Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:24 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 41.2 seconds.

Nashville, Tennessee
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 1:27 p.m. CDT and it would last long for 1 minute and 57 seconds.

Great Smokey Mountains, Natl.Park
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 2:35 p.m. EDT and it would last long for 1 minute and 17 seconds.

Columbia, South Carolina
Here, the timing for the total solar eclipse to begin is 2:43 p.m. EDT and it would last long for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Moreover, NASA is also organizing various fun-filled activities at various destinations. If you wish to know about it and indulge your self in these events, then go this link- Eclipse 2017 NASA Event Locations

MAKE PROPER RESERVATIONS BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Before you pack your bags, do make proper arrangements for your stay. It would be difficult to get on the spot reservation on 21 August 2017. So, plan in advance. Also, be prepared for the traffic jams in advance.

This link would demonstrate the statistics about the population access and estimated visitations on the eclipse day-  greatamericaneclipse.com/statistics

CAUTION: Avoid driving during the eclipse time as you experience the worst driving experience of your life. This may also affect your eyes.

Another amazing Fact: You will be surprised to know that though total solar eclipse happens somewhere on earth every year at any given point on earth experience this only once in every 400 years.

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry Up! Plan ahead to watch out nature’s most magnificent and spectacular happening.

prepared by a Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31