Mir Moiz’s Weblog

Life is meaningful, only when one wishes to make it. We are creatures of time and we’ll wither away in it. The little moments of joy we find and create are all that will live with us.

Solar Eclipse Excursion

On August 1, 2008, a total solar eclipse will cut a swath of shadow through Greenland, the Arctic, Russia, Mongolia, and China. And like most other solar eclipses, thousands of people will come from all over the world to witness it, traveling to remote locations just to stand in the dark for three minutes.

The corona itself is a big freakish thing — a feathery halo of streaming particles along magnetic field lines, which look not like nice summer orange rays but kill-you-dead radiation. It’s also so big and far away as to bend one’s sense of scale. At least three planets are usually visible, and this August there will be four: Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Mars. The sight of the Sun and grouping of planets can overtake you. The absence of the blinding photosphere provides depth perception, with the corona serving as a reference point relative to the planets in front of and beyond the Sun. It allows you to see the big mechanical picture, like a life-sized version of the classroom model minus a few parts. With some mental effort, it’s possible to actually grasp a sense of the size of the solar system. It can crack your brain a bit.

Courtesy: WIRED

Total Eclipse

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