Monday, August 21, 2017
As I sit at my computer awaiting the 75 percent eclipse that is expected in New Jersey I am in awe.
Am I in awe of the moon blocking out the sun? Not really, as a matter of fact I am staying inside afraid to watch the spectacle as I have been bombarded with warnings about going blind from watching the eclipse.
Yes, I could get those special glasses which were sold out a week ago, but there have also been warnings about how safe some glasses are. Some have been certified falsely…which ones? I don’t want to find out.
I could watch it through a box with a pinhole or something, but isn’t that just a shadow? I don’t know, to me it is not worth the chance of hurting my eyes. I vaguely remember a partial eclipse many years ago where there was none of this buildup. It was interesting, but it was not a big deal. The news, the internet, whatever is responsible for the hoopla, I still think the excitement has been overdone and is quite frankly a little silly.
So why am I in awe?
I get the moon blocking the sun thing; cool, but I understand the principle.
I am in awe of the mathematicians that can take the size of the moon, the size of the sun, the distance of both from the earth at any particular phase of orbit, then use the speed of the moon circling the earth and the earth circling the sun plus the earths spin on its axis, and then predict to the second when and where there will be a total eclipse.
They have been able to do this for many years, even many years before computers, and they are even telling us when and where it will happen next in the US, several years from now.
The eclipse; very cool for sure.
The mathematics that predicts the exact track and time of the total eclipse…UNBELIEVABLE!!