Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Great American Solar Eclipse

Georgia has eclipse fever as it anticipates the total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. The Northeast corner of the state will experience 100% darkness as the path of the moon travels between the earth and the sun. We will see close to total darkness in our area as well. Eclipse parties are being planned and some Georgia counties are dismissing schools late or will not have school at all that day. The eclipse will reach its peak at 2:30 in the afternoon when school age kids would ordinarily load on buses to head home.

The last total eclipse of the sun—visible from coast to coast—occurred in 1918 and the next one in 2024 will only be seen in a small section of North America. So this is a once in a lifetime experience for Georgia. Solar eclipse glasses are selling out everywhere, but I did manage to snag a five-pack from Amazon. We are ready if the weather cooperates.

Scientists will take advantage of the eclipse to study the corona of the sun and gain new scientific data about its surface. Scientists in Albert Einstein’s day traveled across Europe to see a total eclipse to validate Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. They were able to take measurements during the eclipse that proved his light bending theory.

In ancient times, solar eclipses were viewed as omens and a foretelling of death and destruction. The Bible tells of several times in Jewish history when total daytime darkness was considered a sign of God’s judgment. In the book of Exodus, a plague of thick darkness lasted three days before Pharaoh set the Hebrews free from Egyptian bondage. On the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, the sun was blotted out from noon to three p.m. The Bible also foretells that the light of the sun and moon will be blotted out during the end times.

The anticipation and preparation for this eclipse reminds me of the frenzy of December 31, 1999 and Y2K. The arrival of the new millennium was supposed to affect the power grid and computers all over the world. People stocked up emergency rations so they could survive for days without electricity and food.  It’s always good to be prepared, but the hype far exceeded the reality.

When the sunlight is blocked for several hours on August 21, it should remind us  that we are not in charge of the heavens or the earth. It will be a good time to reflect, pray, and consider our relationship to God—the One who created it all.  

Psalm 8:3-9

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
         The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
         And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
         And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
         You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
         And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
         Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord,
         How majestic is Your name in all the earth.”


  1. I will share my birthday with the eclipse. 🌑🎉

  2. Very helpful information presented in interesting manner. Much-needed reminder to obtain some viewing glasses! Thanks!

  3. Very nice blog. It is very exciting to have this event happen in our life times.