A look at a solar eclipse
• Looking at a solar eclipse
In America today, the first time in 99 years it will be possible to observe the total solar eclipse, which (among other things), but also block the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Physicists and astronomers from all over the world are waiting for this event with bated breath. But why is it so? After all, people are studying eclipses for thousands of years. Do we have not been able to understand what is really going on?
October 22, 2137 BC in the Chinese official chronicles for the first time there was a record of a solar eclipse: "The sun and the moon could not live together peacefully in the sky." In ancient China, people have associated with the eclipse of politics. Observers interpreted the different physical characteristics of a solar eclipse, and the visible crown to draw conclusions about the fate of the Emperor and his dynasty. For 200 years BC, Chinese astronomers could predict some solar eclipses, but only in 1100 have achieved a half-hour accuracy.
Advanced civilization of the Babylonians were able to predict eclipses as early as the third century BC. These predictions are based on the definition of what was later called the Saros cycle. According to the cycle, every 18 years the sun, moon and Earth line up the same way. Thus, the Babylonians learned to predict eclipses of the other parts of the world, it looks absolutely fantastic course.
Some scholars argue that thousands of years ago by indigenous Australians are also studying eclipses and other relationships between the Sun, Moon and Earth. Colonization, unfortunately, did not give this culture to develop. Anthropologists say that the aborigines of Australia for another 50 000 years ago, clearly understand the nature of eclipses of the sun - so understand that even embed them in religious cults.
The Greeks and Romans started to learn about solar eclipses in the 6th century BC. And already in the second century was created by the famous Antikythera mechanism capable of counting the ones Saros cycles, the Babylonians invented yet.
During the European era of the solar eclipse observation of the Enlightenment continued but significant progress in engineering or science did not cause. That all changed in the early 1700s: Edmond Halley was able to understand the significance of Saros cycles and created a special card eclipses, dividing it by years, months, and the cardinal points.
In 1868, astronomer J. P. Janssen chasing the eclipse in India. Since it is picked spectrography equipment already in place and manages to break into separate corona light wavelengths. Based on the wavelength, the chemical composition Janssen found solar elements forming the core.
Even more fantastic results achieved British astronomer Arthur Eddington, just watch the eclipse May 29, 1919. The distortion of light caused by solar gravity, confirmed Einstein's general theory of relativity. Scientists had to acknowledge the incredible fact: gravity affects space-time.