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  • Writer's pictureMark Jeffery

HoA: Eclipses of the Sun – The Ultimate Experience, by Richard Westwood

Each day, as we wake to the sight of the Sun, we hardly think twice about it. It’s a fixture in our lives, always there – so much so that we take its presence for granted. The ancients, who revered the Sun as a deity, were mystified and often terrified when it was eclipsed, interpreting such events as the work of a monstrous entity passing before it.

 

Richard Westwood discusses ancient tales of Solar Eclipses

The Sun has captivated our interest since the earliest civilizations first gazed skyward. In his talk, Richard took us back to the Babylonian observations of the Sun dating to 3000 BCE and then through the unfolding narrative of history, including the Antikythera mechanism discovered in 1901, but not properly investigated until the 1950s. Yes, that's the same device featured in the latest Indiana Jones movie! There's compelling evidence suggesting that the Greeks created this intricate apparatus around 100 BCE, partly to predict solar eclipses.

 

Richard answering questions after his talk to the Flamsteed

Richard's presentation also delved into the various types of eclipses, the pivotal role of the Moon's orbit in these phenomena, and the remarkable fact that such perfect celestial alignments can occur on predictable dates.

 

If you want to know more, watch out for the notification about the video going online soon. Don’t miss this, and learn about eclipses of our own star.


Pictures from the evening (by Mike Meynell):



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