Solar Eclipse 2015 – Cause of the Eclipse

Solar Eclipse 2015 – A Fantastic Astronomical Display

The recent Solar Eclipse was a fantastic display – the best astronomical display this decade. Some would even go to say it was the best astronomical display of the century! The eclipse could be seen in most areas of the UK, despite some restrictive cloud coverage. Some of the best shots were taken from Wales and Oxford. Across Europe, fantastic pictures were taken in Switzerland and Iceland.

Solar Eclipse 2015
David Cook from Blackburn, England, managed to capture the moment a plane passed across the sun during the initial stages of the eclipse.

What caused the Solar Eclipse 2015?

The eclipse yesterday (20th March, 2015) was a total solar eclipse. It occurs when the moon moves between the sun and the earth, totally blocking out the light of the sun and plunging the earth into darkness.

How were Eclipses viewed by Ancient Civilisations?

In ancient times, there was little understanding of the solar system. In fact, the Medieval world view still held the earth at the centre of the universe, holding man, the pinnacle of God’s creation.  It wasn’t until capernicus that the European view changed from being geocentric to heliocentric. Eclipses were therefore extremely scary to ancient civilizations.

The ancient Greeks thought that eclipses occurred because they had made the Gods angry. Egyptians never recorded anything to do with it, perhaps they were too scared to talk about it or write about it at all! However, there is evidence to suggest that Mayans could predict eclipses.

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