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Get ready for the eclipse that saved Columbus
Brietbart ^ | Feb 18 06:54 PM

Posted on 02/19/2008 9:19:42 AM PST by BradtotheBone

The Moon will turn an eerie shade of red for people in the western hemisphere late Wednesday and early Thursday, recreating the eclipse that saved Christopher Columbus more than five centuries ago. In a lunar eclipse, the Sun, Earth and Moon are directly aligned and the Moon swings into the cone of shadow cast by the Earth.

But the Moon does not become invisible, as there is still residual light that is deflected towards it by our atmosphere. Most of this refracted light is in the red part of the spectrum and as a result the Moon, seen from Earth, turns a coppery, orange or even brownish hue.

Lunar eclipses have long been associated with superstitions and signs of ill omen, especially in battle.

The defeat of the Persian king Darius III by Alexander the Great in the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC was foretold by soothsayers when the Moon turned blood-red a few days earlier.

And an eclipse is credited with saving the life of Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1504.

Stranded on the coast of Jamaica, the explorers were running out of food and faced with increasingly hostile local inhabitants who were refusing to provide them with any more supplies.

Columbus, looking at an astronomical almanac compiled by a German mathematician, realised that a total eclipse of the Moon would occur on February 29, 1504.

He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.

The warning, of course, came true, prompting the terrified people to beg Columbus to restore the Moon -- which he did, in return for as much food as his men needed. He and the crew were rescued on June 29, 1504.

The Moon will be in total eclipse from 0301 GMT to 0351 GMT. This will be visible east of the Rocky Mountains in North America, as well as in all of Central and South America, West Africa and Western Europe. The zenith of totality is close to French Guiana.

It will be in partial eclipse from 0143 GMT to 0301 GMT, visible west of the Rockies and from the eastern Pacific, and from 0351 GMT to 0509 GMT, visible across the rest of Africa and Europe and much of South and West Asia.

Under a partial eclipse, Earth's shadow, or umbra, appears to take a "bite" out of the Moon.

The last total lunar eclipse took place on August 28 2007. The next will take place on December 21 2010.

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon swings between the Earth and the Sun.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: astronomy; eclipse; godsgravesglyphs; lunar; lunareclipse; moon

1 posted on 02/19/2008 9:19:55 AM PST by BradtotheBone
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To: BradtotheBone

One of my favorite stories.


2 posted on 02/19/2008 9:21:44 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: BradtotheBone

To see the eclipse, some people would go outdoors, but most will read about it on the Internet. Maybe somebody will post an image.


3 posted on 02/19/2008 9:22:54 AM PST by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: BradtotheBone

“He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.”

Ah Columbus... a masterful politician... lying, lying, lying to get what he wanted...


4 posted on 02/19/2008 9:22:56 AM PST by SilvieWaldorfMD (Hard lesson learned in the 1980's: "Never perm and dye your hair at the same time!")
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To: Mr. Mojo
Sounds like BS to me.

ML/NJ

5 posted on 02/19/2008 9:23:24 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: RightWhale

I’m going to be on a plane, heading for Tucson- hoping that I’ll be able to get a good view!


6 posted on 02/19/2008 9:28:57 AM PST by SoKatt
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To: Mr. Mojo

I saw a movie a long time ago where an explorer did this same trick. He was captured in Africa and about to be killed when he pulled out his almanac. He saw the eclipse and repeated the same warning Columbus did, and saved his life. The director proabably used Columbus story.


7 posted on 02/19/2008 9:30:29 AM PST by Rennes Templar ( Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.)
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To: SoKatt

Get a seat on the correct side of the cabin. The moon will be to the south side. Clouds might be interesting in the red light.


8 posted on 02/19/2008 9:34:16 AM PST by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: BradtotheBone

To bad Bobby didn’t have an almanac on that fateful canoe trip down the Cahulawassee...


9 posted on 02/19/2008 9:47:53 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: Rennes Templar
I saw a movie a long time ago where an explorer did this same trick. He was captured in Africa and about to be killed when he pulled out his almanac. He saw the eclipse and repeated the same warning Columbus did, and saved his life. The director proabably used Columbus story.

Bing Crosby did a similar bit in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (time travel), but using a solar eclipse.

He was about to be burned at the stake (I think) and remembered there would be an eclipse on that day. So . . . at the appropriate moment he started rattling off a train schedule - something like "Alhambra, Riverside, and CUC-A-MONGA!" just as the sun went dark. The locals panicked and turned him loose. Typical Hollywood fluff, but pretty funny in spots, with William Bendix as a goofy knight.

10 posted on 02/19/2008 9:54:55 AM PST by Oatka (A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Oatka

That must be it. I was about 10 when I saw it. I thought it was funny then!


11 posted on 02/19/2008 9:59:06 AM PST by Rennes Templar ( Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.)
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To: BradtotheBone

12 posted on 02/19/2008 10:09:37 AM PST by robomatik (h)
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To: SilvieWaldorfMD
“He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.”

Ah Columbus... a masterful politician... lying, lying, lying to get what he wanted...


Al Gore, v1.0
13 posted on 02/19/2008 10:09:45 AM PST by WrightOnTarget
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To: BradtotheBone

You see, it was the eclipse.
It came into my mind in the nick of time, how Columbus,
or Cortez, or one of those people, played an eclipse as
a saving trump once, on some savages, and I saw my chance.
I could play it myself, now, and it wouldn’t be any
plagiarism, either, because I should get it in nearly
a thousand years ahead of those parties.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
MARK TWAIN


14 posted on 02/19/2008 10:29:26 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (McCain, Huckabee will send a self-abused stomped elephant to the DRNC.)
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To: Oatka
That bit about the eclipse is from the original novel by Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court).
15 posted on 02/19/2008 11:02:27 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

I’m going to try this next time I’m about to be disembowled or beheaded to please an Aztec deity.


16 posted on 02/19/2008 11:02:38 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Conservatives are to McCain what Charlie Brown is to Lucy.)
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To: BradtotheBone
In many cultures the local mystics were the calendar keepers. And this was one of the main reasons.

Imagine if some guy said “Tomorrow the sun (or moon) will be covered with a shadow; it will be an omen that the world will end. But don’t worry. I know what to do. You need to appease the angry gods with much gold and your virgin daughters (delivered to the intermediary to the Gods...ME!). Once the gold and virgins are delivered I will ask the Gods for intercession and the shadow will be removed from the sun (or moon).”

You might think he is full of it at first. But loe and behold the shadow comes, you give him what he wants, he does his mumbo jumbo and the shadow is removed. -

17 posted on 02/19/2008 11:04:29 AM PST by allmendream ("A Lyger is pretty much my favorite animal."NapoleonD)
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To: BradtotheBone

Another eclipse with historical significance was the lunar eclipse of August 27, 413 B.C., during the Peloponnesian War. The Athenians had been about to abandon their siege of Syracuse, but the eclipse led their superstitious general Nicias to consult the soothsayers, who told him they must wait 27 days before moving. The Syracusans forced a battle before the 27 days were up, but the delay may have made the difference in the final outcome of the campaign—the Athenian forces were all killed or captured...a total disaster.


18 posted on 02/19/2008 11:12:42 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: BradtotheBone
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come" -Acts 2:20

Sorry, couldn't resist

19 posted on 02/19/2008 5:04:31 PM PST by americanophile
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To: RightWhale

Hi there,

As it turned out, the eclipse was BEHIND the plane- but the pilot got permission from air traffic control to do a 360 because so many of us were asking where to sit to get a good view. :)
It was an amazing sight to see!


20 posted on 02/29/2008 2:03:00 PM PST by SoKatt
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To: SoKatt
pilot got permission from air traffic control to do a 360

That is amazing.

21 posted on 02/29/2008 2:40:41 PM PST by RightWhale (Clam down! avoid ataque de nervosa)
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To: RightWhale

Amazing, and very kind of him. I poked my head into the cockpit when I was boarding and a woman who was behind me with her kids piped up, so he came to the door and spoke to us. Once we got into the air made the announcement ( and got a round of applause- lol, didn’t take much to make us happy! ). It only made us 10 minutes late, and I made sure to shake his hand on the way and thank him for being so accomodating. Feel free to tease me for being a big nerd. :)


22 posted on 03/01/2008 8:26:10 AM PST by SoKatt
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To: BGHater; Keith Pickering; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; ..

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23 posted on 09/15/2009 8:19:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: BradtotheBone

BUMP!


24 posted on 09/15/2009 8:52:42 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: BradtotheBone; Mr. Mojo; SilvieWaldorfMD; SunkenCiv

This trick would not have worked on the Mayans or Aztecs since they had the lunar eclipse already predicted in their almanacs.


25 posted on 09/16/2009 6:30:33 AM PDT by Nikas777 (En touto nika, "In this, be victorious")
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