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Today’s Solar Eclipse!

20th March 2015

We’ve been very excited this week for this mornings Solar Eclipse- we strolled down to the church in Pannal, Harrogate to see it! Here are a few of the photos we managed to capture:

 

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Throughout history, humans have had an fascination with the moon, the eclipses that happened were seen as omens of death, or the end of the world. It has been shown by surviving evidence that they have been predicted by as early as 2500 BC by the Babylonians and the ancient Chinese. The Babylonians feared the eclipse was a bad omen towards the King, and so they would bring in temporary ‘kings’ in hope they would receive the wrath of the gods, and not the actual King.

The Greeks feared that the eclipse signalled that death and destruction was coming to them as the gods were angry. The word ‘eclipse’ actually comes from the ancient Greek word ‘ekleipsis’ which means abandoned.

The fear is understandable- throughout history people lived by the sun and the moon- they went to bed when the sun set and rose when the sun rose, one day the two align and darkness falls, suddenly day turns into night. Having no explanation for this caused widespread fear, there were four main explanations in ancient times; a celestial being- a monster was attempting to destroy the sun, or the sun and the moon, as lovers were fighting. Or The sun grows angry or neglectful, or the sun and the moon make love and hide themselves away in darkness. It isn’t hard to see why they came up with these theories, with limited knowledge they could not know that these eclipses happen once every 18 years as the basis for the saros cycle.

William Morris himself was avidly fascinated with the middle ages, and the sun and moon- and as you know- we’re fascinated with William Morris!

Today, we know much more in terms of science of why the eclipse occurs, however a quick google search and you will find articles published this year with headlines stating that today will be the ‘end of the world.’ Lets hope this isn’t true- though we’ll be eating an extra slice of cake at lunch just incase…

 

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