Humans have been recording instances of solar eclipses for thousands of years. Today, we're walking through some of the famous eclipses in history, all while wearing proper eye shielding.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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it's all eclipses, all the time we reach the point that my mom and her sisters are talking about eclipses on our family Yahoo group, which threaten hold in how many people are talking about something ray. That is, of course, because of the events that is being built. In the. U S is the great american eclipse which will have happen. And on the same day, that this episode publishes August twenty first, twenty seventeen I suspect this episode will air after the eclipse actually happened right around it in terms of when it goes live but moreover, if people are into the eclipse they're probably are watching the eclipse and not sitting summer listening to applaud I must tell you that's where I will be: is I'm travelling to a because we, you are near the Yes, how happy I am ya several years ago and on a trip, we are well off a seething planned, but so,
and we are not going to fill this with warnings about how to carefully observe radically. I hope We have got nervous before you may be looked up by it. like a great time to discuss some eclipses in history, there are a lot of eclipses that have been recorded through the ages, but today we're gonna talk about five of them. If we leave your favorite out apologies, but we just want a kind of a sampling of eclipses in kind of their interesting points in the historical record, to be clear today we are talking specifically about solar. Eclipse is swim. The moon passes between the earthen sign and at least a portion of the sun is blocked. Casting a shadow on the earth we are getting ensue. Lunar eclipses when the earth passes between the sun and the moon, which causes the moon to grow, dark right, and there are forty solar, eclipse, partial or total and hybrid, and a partial eclipse
hers, when the moon only obstructs a part of the sun- and this is often described as the sun- looking as though there is a bite taken out of its annual ermines ring shaped, I don't know about you Holly, but that that eclipses, that I have seen so far apart aside from partial ones, have all been angular eclipses am which from the lad, analyse so an annual an annual eclipse is when the moon passes and the centre of the sun, but it leaves a ring of the sun visible around the moon and a total eclipse when the moon is close enough to the earth, but as it passes in front of the sun, the sun is completely black dots so there's, not a liver or a ring around the outside, as in the case, the annual eclipse Muslims, Verona is still visible, though there is as much out eclipse that's happening that the day this episode airs, which is obvious when first of twenty seven team- that is a total eclipse. Yes, sometimes
I have found in it. When I was younger, it took me a long time to really grasp the sun so foolish, as I say it, but difference between an annual eclipse Emma a total eclipse, because you still see that coronal ring on a total eclipse anomaly, but you can still see availing no you're not seen son you're, seeing the light of this right. But I'm seeing sunlight and set about its that's yeah. I still feel it flew out and as we were planning our whole. Our trip we were talking to the other folks you're gonna be travelling with us and I had I was like ok, but I remember watching an eclipse at my elementary school and I had to go look that up and like figure out what year was that what was going on it was an annual are eclipse than as an ok. Now I also remember watching one in our yard looks that would also in any eclipse and I was like ok. Obviously, my memory is not a sharp, as I would like it to be. Regarding what eclipses I have seen eager mind definitely is not an end
forced type that we mention a hybrid eclipse is one that appears to be a total eclipse from one vantage point on earth. annual or eclipse from another point on earth at the same time, and that has to do with what the moon is in position in relation to your position on earth and the position of the sun, so additionally, annually, and hybrid eclipses will look like partial eclipses from since that are outside of the path of totality. So where you are in Atlanta, is the path of Sally, so we mostly covered up yet. I also and of excited about this whole eclipse situation. If you cannot tell the older known story of a solar eclipse also comes with a sad tale of two men who failed to predicted this particular event took place in China Twenty one, thirty seven b c e there, actually some discrepancies as to whether or not that year is accurate, writing in China from this period have described such events really quite poetically, as quote
Sun and Moon did not meet harmoniously. So to be clear, they were eclipses before this point, but we are talking about ones that were recorded This was not the first time in Europe we must have, but yeah so China's mythology around eclipses was that they took place when a celestial dragon was eating the sun and in tradition that built around idea of scaring the dragon away to get the sun back. People would make lots of noise biplane banging pots together drums and basically doing anything that would create the loudest sound possible sounds pretty fun. Powerful story attached to this ancient eclipse involves two court astronomers ho and he their job was to predict any info. and celestial events and inform the emperor of them, and is this We goes in this case. The emperor only learned of the eclipse event when he
the banging noises of his people trying to frighten the mythical dragon naturally, this failing on the part of the astronomers who, according to legend word drunk when they should have been doing their jobs was met with a great deal of anger on the part of the emperor and the story goes that they were then executed for their poor job performance. There is even a pretty, I'm poem that's often cited when the story is discussed and the poem goes here lie the bodies of home and he whose fate sad was visible being hanged because they could not spy the cliffs, which was invisible I hope it is said, a love of drink occasion, Bala Trouble, but this is hardly true. I think for drunken folks see double this text is on a tribute Donna who wrote it- and it was likely,
certainly written long after the event in China by western other. Just based on these sort of apocryphal stories of Helen, he and this has led to this blanket assumption that these two men were incompetent, but there have been discussions of them in the historical record, knowledge astronomical knowledge that was done. Few different works throughout the centuries, so, according to chinese animals, analyzed calls analyzed by later astronomers he and how had actually done a great deal of work on reforming the chinese calendar through their observations in their calculations, and they had made a lot more accurate century Englishmen, John Jackson, after doing his own research and analysis and pulling from translations of chinese animals as well as contemporary astronomy, authors found that account suggested that this eclipse the one that astronomers pointing to was very brief, and he wrote in seventeen fifty to quote, if
Eclipse was really so small and so short, it is not to be wondered at the two astronomers he and HO should not have observed it. Nor any others hardly be supposed to have seen it, but part of the problem is that all of this is backwards engineering, an event that could have been just one of any number of possible eclipses that we're referenced with an ancient chinese writings. The Jackson quote that we just and as an analysis of one of those events which may or may not have been the one that sealed the astronomer states. So again, that is if this whole execution story is actually true. The eight Ninety one proceedings and transactions of the scientific association includes the full text of an address that given by the Reverend J T petty about the story, and he makes the case that if you take this story at its word, it really serves as a testament to how advanced China's astronomical knowledge was at the time. As part of his case, he says quote: China must have been
well stocked with astronomers or she could not have afforded to sacrifice two of them had they been The only astronomers in the empire there lives would have been spared for future service, whatever their dereliction of duty, yes of those poor drunken astronomers, maybe just got better stop we're gonna talk about homers odyssey, but before we get into that we're gonna pause and have a well sponsor break this episode of stuff. You missed in history classes brought to you by Norton three sixty with life. Luck with your shopping online with your smartphone. Its super feels like ear. Personal information is just right there in your hand, but that's not always the case, because, as soon as you hit submit, your personal information could start going other places. In fact, whenever you shop Bank or browse online, your personal invoking get out of your control, and that can we be vulnerable to cyber criminals. More threats demand more protection. That's why Norton and Lifelong are now part of one company, Norton three.
Stay with lifelike is an all in one membership for your cyber safety that gives you device security, identity theft, protection and a VP end for online privacy. No one can prevent all cybercrime and identity theft, but nor in three sixty with lifelike as your ally in today's connected world, because your information is out there sign up for Norton three sixty with lifelike today and save twenty five percent or more off your first year, go to Norton dot com, slash history, that's Norton, DOT, com, slash history for twenty five per off. It was written by homer around eight hundred BC, but it tells the story sat around twelve hundred BC ease centuries before this poem was actually conceived, in telling the tail of a disease and his decade
voyage, homer might have recounted an eclipse that took place in eleven seventy eights BC. climate, is a sphere character with them. A narrative shares a prophecy about the doomed fate of Penelope suitors and ends with what some people believe as a description of an eclipse quote. The sun has obliterated from the sky at an unlock, an unlucky darkness invades the world. In the story, the still very much alive Odysseus kills all of the suitors. During this event in the earth, part of the twentieth century astronomers Carl Shock and Paul New Gebauer determines that the ionian islands would have seen a total solar eclipse on April sixteenth of eleven seventy eight b c e in this place did about one decade after the city of Troy was destroyed, but this idea was largely dismissed by critics who felt that there was no way that homer could have had knowledge of such an event and written about it when it had happened,
several hundred years before his time. But this topic was revived into thousand seven when to Bio, physicists, Constantino by coups us and Marcello o Magneto use software to analyze data they collected from this text. They call through the odyssey and noted mentions of constellations and the positions of Venus and Mercury and the new moon, which happened the night before the prophecy and using all of that collected data, they determined the possible dates that could have matched descriptions in epic poem and there, match was drum. Roll please April sixteenth, eleven seventy eight, but even in their paper, which was published in two thousand, by cruises and go are very clear that it would be amazing and not Terribly likely of homer knew about this event. They wrote quote the main Possibility in the conclusions is that they imply that the author of the lines in question was first interested in it astronomy
time when there were no traces left at the Greek had an interest in it beyond political purposes, and in possession of detailed astronomical data of events happening perhaps five centuries before him, whose designed to discuss them nations that homer was interested in astronomy and then examines various improbable, but not impossible means by which the now have a historical eclipse could have made its way into his sphere of knowledge, but they acknowledge that it's really hard a really hard case to prove, and they conclude with quote much. Research is needed before we can move beyond speculations. We can only modestly hope to convince other scholars that the case against chokes Eclipse may have been too hastily closed and distance I urge them to ponder if the remarkable coincidence described in this paper may in fact not be coincidental at all and to be clear
They have definitely had detractors like they have had people right response papers that are criticising all of this. But it's an interesting idea to think about the next eclipse. It we're gonna talk about in eighteen, thirty six so on May fifteenth. Eighteen, thirty six. There was an annual eclipse that crossed over the United Kingdom in its totality enduring This particular event a characteristic of eclipses was identified and named for its observer. France's Bailey Francis Bailey, with Britain. Astronomer who had been born in seventeen. Seventy four and initially he had gone, the business and done quite well for himself, but at the age of fifty one, he retired from his work on the London Stock Exchange and writing. About annuities. Do instead devote his time to science that charms me alive. We do but this really wasn't Lincoln out of the blue, shoe furtive authorities that ok business time over now, when I think about the the night sky, had actually been interested in science and astronomy for quite some time in
Eighteen, twenty, which was five years before he left his finance work. He had been a dry force behind the formation of the royal astronomical society in it, the founding of that society, which aimed to promote research in astronomy. He was colleagues such as John Herschel and Charles Babbage. Fourth, eighteen thirty, six eclipse Bailey wanting to see it at its best advantage travelled to Scotland and the whether, on the day of the event, was excellent. The sky was cloudless and Bailey Experience was related in December knife, eighteen, thirty, six proceeding of the royal astronomical society as he had spoken about it at their meeting, and this is kind of long. But it's a relating of what he saw so bear with us on this lengthy quote. Brief discourse on Baileys position and set up to watch the eclipse. This account in the past meetings. Reads quote. He says he was unexpected sure a meeting with something extraordinary at the formation of the analyse but
and it would only be momentary and consequently that it would not interrupt the noting of the time of its occurrence in this. However, he was deceived as the following facts will show. Or when the costs of the sun were about forty degrees asunder. A row of lucid points like a string of beads erect are in size and distance from each other. Suddenly, formed round that part of the circumference of the moon. There was about to turn on the sun's disk this. He intended to note as the correct time of the formation of the annual is expected. every moment to see the ring of light completed round the moon, rebuilding this survey, the appearance of the moons whim, as others have done before him to the lunar mountains, although the remaining portion of the moon. Circumference was perfectly smooth and circular as seen through the telescope. He was somewhat surprised, however, find that these luminous points, as well as the dark intervening spaces, increased in magnitude some of the continued
ones appearing to run into one another like drops of water. Finally, as the moon pursued her course. These dark intervening spaces were soon stout into long black thick parallel lines joining the limbs of the sun and the moon when all at once suddenly gave way and left the circumference of the sun and the moon in those points, as all the rest, apparently smooth and circular, and the moon perceptibly advanced on the face of the sun after the moon had crossed the centre of the sun. Bailey observe another surprise. According to his account quote all at once. A number of long black, thick parallel exactly similar in appearance to the former ones mention suddenly, forward and joined the two limbs as before and the phenomena were repeated, but in inverse order, so we witnessed the, mine's terminating in a curve line of bright bead switch vanished. As the annual ended, the formation of the bees, as witnessed by
other astronomers as well, several of which Bailey consulted with and Molly was re. That's the lunar. Geography that causes these beads to form as the sun outlines the valleys and peaks on the moon, surface Incidentally, when only one beat is visible, this is called a diamond ring effect, as you can see the a little of light and then one bright spot. So it can. It looks like a sparkly ring and though Their astronomers did observe this happening. The bead effect is named for Bailey and while serving eclipses after the one in May of eighteen. Thirty, six astronomers continued to look for Baileys beads as hallmarks of the eclipse process. Today, photos of eclipses are readily available in books and online, but that certainly was not always the case. So in a moment we are going to talk about the first photo of an eclipse, but first we pause for a word from sponsor.
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releasing On July, twenty eighth, eighteen, fifty one there was a total eclipse. The totality over pressure in this particular eclipses noteworthy because in pay duration for the events, the director of the Royal observatory and conning spurred hired a photographer to capture it? Johan, Julius Friedrich. Ebert Caskey was a skilled, the Gara typist, and he was the man the observatory reached out to recast a small refracting telescope in conjunction with a huge amateur which is a telescope for measuring the apparent diameter of the sun and for measuring angles between celestial bodies are points. On the lunar surface, it took an eighty four sex. exposure once the eclipses totality began and resulted was the first successful photo of a solar eclipse which included the vision. capture of prominences emanating from the sun surface, when this image is tiny.
Those things when you think about a photograph and especially if you ve, seen it online or in books you think of like photographs eyes like for my son, this thing is little little its way smaller than that The moon on the original plate was only seven point. Eight five millimetres in diameter and while the director of the retorted initially wrote about the groundbreaking photo without crediting Burkina, eventually, the photographer slashed Euro made his own prints from his plate. These were slightly enlarged, but still quite small as a point of reference. The moons diameter and these prints was eight point nine millimetres. One of these prints still exist and is in the collection of the unit of University Observatory and Germany. Another set of prints from Burkina Skis Plates was order by german astronomer Carl Friedrich, Wilhelm Peters in eighteen. Ninety, one and copies of the Peters Prince with on to be used in textbooks and other publications. Today, you can easily find Rakowski psychotic
photograph on wine, and there are even some images of a human hand, holding a framed, a prince to Ellen how little this groundbreaking photograph is with the frame included retaliatory a couple inches. There's someone can just hold between their thumb and forefinger is very small. The last eclipse that will tie bout is one. That's come to be known as Einstein's eclipse it took place on the twenty ninth of nineteen nineteen and several years Prior to this eclipse, Einstein had published his now famous general theory of relativity for very broad strokes. The crux of the theory is that space can be curbed by the influence of gravity of any body with mass, and this was at odds with Newton principia, which we have talked about on upon cast before in which establishment ethical rules that apply to celestial motion and was more static and did not take into account something like a gravity band, so Frank Watson, dice,
Astronomer royal of Britain began to think about the possibility of testing the theory by observing light with gravity could distort space than light passing through that space would also curve, but our sign is so bright, but we can't really see the way other stars light might be bent by the sun's gravity, and this led to realize that the darkness of the sun as viewed from earth during an eclipse, would offer an opportune need to observe light bending as it approached the sun's edge if Einstein's theory was correct and so Now you might be wondering if photographs of previous eclipses in the decade since per Caskeys first to gear type, would have offered any evidence, but bend and light is seriously slight. The photographs at that point were not of good inequality to detect such a change. Would you can only be analyzed with really quite precise measurement, once it was determined, the eclipse would be that
Emily adding to lead the test and the first two months of nineteen nineteen he measured the position of the stars. of nineteen nineteen. He measured the position of the stars that the sun would be passing in front of during the predicted may eclipse for the eclipse itself. He try, to an island off of Africa's western coast and at the time. He despatched another team of astronomers to Brazil's take measurements, and this was broken. AIDS in the event that the island had cloud cover on, May twenty ninth it turned out both locations had a clear view of the eclipse. So there were two separate sets of measurements to use. The eclipse lasted for six minutes during its total in both teams took photos throughout that brief time and after the eclipse did Haddington gathered all the information and went back to England and spent the next several months. Analyzing it heading the findings that for announced on November six, nineteen nineteen vindicated Einstein and proved this general theory Relativity was correct while they were
certainly detractors. Who could suspected the Edison had somehow falsified the data to support Einstein, this winter at the moment that made Einstein famous on November seventh, he was front page news and suddenly the german born physicist was the global poster child Virginias measurements taking during eclipses, there are ninety nineteen continued to backup, Einstein's theory and adding tonnes findings here, which really cool. I did that somehow I miss that growing up the information that it was really an eclipse that made Einstein ass. My head he's because he's such a thing, figure. I think my head, he just fuel. wow. This is an amazing theory. You're smart. I never think of him was being you know having detractors. Of course he did not answer my weird take on it, but the use of those are a few stories of eclipses in history.
There are many many more. I think the next eclipse doesn't happen until twenty twenty four years. Over still doing this by gas is seven years. We can keep it up or just if we want to talk about it. this is something that we could do an eclipse survey episode and talk about a few. My turn our looter eclipses bitter people. Don't guess ass excited about lunar eclipses yeah cause they're, like authority the of the moon is it quite as dramatic even Very cool and you'd have sought I'm a blood money, amazing yeah yeah, but their fascinating. I hope if everybody was, watched its, whether in person or online or some other way one. I hope anybody that actually watched it in person was very careful with their vision then, with a camera. Don't- and does your point, your camera, the sun
There are so many things, you'd, better care oil, as I hope you enjoyed it and if you, you know, missed it, the Good NEWS is, we live in an information age were its owner online instantly hooray yeah. So we have spare me over us, I do I'm a correction and then a gift meal so I feel supersede everybody always blame. I stupidly, am I blind spot in knowledge was a pleasant blind spot to have, and then it went away. I think I know I wish I d around saying the EIA. Yes, we did the sublime mutiny someone's got the rebellion from those also called freedom movement. We talked about one of the punishment of the indian stirs on the part of the british Empire position, from cannons, but that's not correct it so much grocer. several people ruinous. Really you can get this right in my defends the way it is
and I'm gizzard read one of the accounts that describes it. If you Don't know what it is, that is a fairly, simple way to place to land in your head. I'm reading a piece written by Douglas peers about it and I didn't in my little note that I wrote here didn't cite the book it came from, so my apologies, but it says quote, the fear of spiritual debasement came circle for the mutineers, the British deliberately child rebels boys that were caught, some were blown from cannon, some Hindu we're smeared with cow fat before they were hanged. Some muslim rebels were or to chew pig fat, so blow from came in, to my mind, met blown from a cannon, but that's not. one from cannon means actually means is that the person this is horrifying. So I apologize for those of you that also would have liked to maintain that blind spot it the personal stuff, to a cannon while it is shot. And the resulting force causes.
dismemberment and the body in terms Religious matters is defiled and it prevents the proper administration of religious funeral rights for Hindus and Muslims so really really grows, but in distinction to makes a thank you to all the people that route in a mention that to bring it up because that's a terrible note to land on- I have a wonderful gift that we got from our listener. She sent us really fun jewelry, which she describes herself. In her note, she says hello Oh, I am a big fan of the show. I have ADHD, so it's great to listen to you, while I'm working on crafts, speaking of which one of my craft Gmail and I wanted to make you guys some pieces- the gold. One is a tribute to Holly's laughter, because there is nothing that makes my day brighter than hearing such full. Well or an amused tittering at the ridiculous of history. The purple bracelet is a weave called Byzantine and the silver peace I dedicated, which is a little cuff
I dedicate to Tracy Sigh. A person could all is good, she's, so great the person of lips they could must be a smirk. As she knows, she's about to drop acknowledge bomb that will blow Everyone's minds, wide, open, though. Coup what I'm amazing, honour and delay artist, you know memorialize our behaviors and enjoy reform, and then she has all suggestion for a topic, but she has lots of love, Cayley, my gosh that is so sweet and thoughtful and amazing. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Kelly bills are fantastic in just such a delight and put a huge smile. My face as I read your card this morning. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you, if you like, to write to us, you can do so at history pike as to how to work start com. You can also visitors across. spectrum of social media we are missing. History pretty much everywhere. That includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Tumblr pinterest. You can visit us at our home page, which is missed in history, dot, com and see every episode of the show that ever happened from way back in the beginning, long before Tracy and I were attached to it, really shown of its for any the episodes that Tracy and I have worked on. If you would like to visit our parents, you can do that by this house of works dot com, if you type in the word eclipse in the search bar you're gonna get a recent article that was written called three times total eclipses influenced world history. We only have one overlap, eclipse about article, so you'll get some new knowledge. If this, what did your appetite? But we encourage you come to visit us, missed in history, the crown and how that works for more on this and thousands of other topics visit has tat more. The future is closer than you think.
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