From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Starstruck: Total Eclipse of the Sun

1999 Total Eclipse of the Sun  (Photo by Luc Viatour)
When many of us hear the phrase “Total Eclipse,” we think of Bonnie Tyler’s sad, sad song.

However, scientists among us are more prone to think of our nearest star, the sun.  Hoping to catch a rare glimpse of solar secrets, these “eclipse chasers” gather at locations throughout the world.

On March 21, 2015, a hardy group of heaven-gazers were hanging out in the Faroe Islands (you know, “halfway between Iceland and the tip of Scotland…”).  They were hoping for clear skies in order to view the anticipated total eclipse “in all its glory.”

Jay Pasachoff of Williams College told CBS News that “it is thrilling to be outdoors when the sky darkens so abruptly and so dramatically.”  He should know, having already “seen more than 60 eclipses.”

But it isn't just about the drama.  In fact, it’s more about avoiding drama, the drama of solar flares potentially blacking out grids here on Earth.

Just recently, "Earth was hit by a severe solar storm, potentially disrupting power grids and GPS tracking…”  Pasachoff said that in order to predict such occurrences, it is necessary to better understand these solar ejections “and how they travel through space in all directions.”

So go ahead, enjoy your sunlit days in comfort and ease, knowing that a starstruck few are looking out (quite literally) for the rest of us Earthlings.


Copyright March 21, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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