Of the millions of people watching Monday’s eclipse, many will feel a bit of fear in the primitive part of their brains, that the event is a possible harbinger of doom. It’s part of the history of an eclipse.

In 585 B.C., a solar eclipse in Asia Minor brought an abrupt end to a war between the Medians and the Lydians, because they thought is showed  the disapproval of the gods.


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In 2300 B.C., two of a Chinese emperor’s astrologers were beheaded when they failed to predict an eclipse. The English connected the death of King Henry The 1st and the eclipse of 1133.

In The Odyssey, Homer wrote about the eclipse of 1177 B.C., writing “and the sun has perished out of heaven and an evil mist hovers over all.”



On the positive side, in 1868, French astronomer Jules Jenssen discovered helium in the spectrum of the sun when the gas had not yet been discovered on Earth. Helium is the second lightest element on earth.

During the eclipse of 1919, a British astronomer proved one point of Einstein’s theory of relativity in that gravity will bend light by a predictable amount.


NASA is all over this event and I can’t help but wonder what new discoveries will result of this upcoming celestial event.This eclipse will provide the best observations of the sun’s corona to date. Scientists can learn why the sun’s atmosphere burns a million degrees hotter than the sun itself and gain knowledge to help them explore for life in  other galaxies.