In the early moments of humankind’s scientific awakenings, an eclipse – solar or lunar, might have created serious fear. Here in the sky, something big and different, above their heads, may have sent early humans into hiding. Maybe not.
But today, we understand eclipses – at least mostly, and look forward to their occurrences as an expected and exciting phenomenon that surely does not threaten our existence. Rather, it heightens our knowledge, awareness and emotions. And most likely creates just a few photo shoots of varying results. Tomorrow, December 10th will host a total Lunar Eclipse for parts of the western hemisphere.
According to the site http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/10Kaleidoscope640.html, “Ancient Chinese recorded 2,000 lunar eclipses, including 400 total eclipses. Outside China the earliest records of solar eclipses were found in the ruins of ancient Babylon, and the earliest solar eclipse among the six records took place in 911 BC. Yet in China the earliest record of solar eclipse, found in the inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells unearthed at the Yin ruins, was in 1200 BC, nearly 300 years earlier than the ancient Babylon record and more than 600 years earlier than the first record of solar eclipse in Europe. The Spring and Autumn Annals compiled by Confucius recorded 37 solar eclipses in 244 years, and 32 of them have been proved reliable.”
S. J. Johnson in the journal Observatory, 1888, stated that a Lunar Eclipse was recorded in Annales Cambriae in AD 690. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1888Obs....11..340J
Tomorrow, being a Saturday may prevent some late risers from joining the observant multitudes who will usher in this incredible astronomical event. But for the rest of us, lets get to bed early tonight and set our alarm clocks in time to observe yet another of Nature’s fantastic performances. The eclipse begins about 4:45 AM PST; we'll be out there about 4:30 AM...just in case.