From a scientific standpoint, it’s fantastic to view the first solar eclipse in more than two decades; with this rare eclipse set to appear over Western states of the U.S. May 20. In the meantime, Saturday’s “gloriously full” Moon was considered by astronomers as “one of the most dramatic celestial events yet to come” in a crazy 2012 that’s already awash with Mayan prophecy hysteria. At the same time, a recent USA Today report states how this May 20 “ring of fire” will be seen by viewers “in a swath from the Pacific coast to Texas.” In turn, astronomers told USA Today that “some of the best places to see the annular eclipse – one in which all but the outermost rim of the sun is blocked by the moon, leaving a ‘bull’s eye’ ring of sunlight – are in the wide open spaces of national parks." In turn, park rangers and astronomers will offer special programs for those wishing to view this most unusual solar eclipse May 20 out West.
May 20 solar eclipse already “sold out” in some parks
The forthcoming solar eclipse is so popular that USA Today reported May 4 that “reservations-required viewing programs at Albuquerque’s Petroglyph are already full, but telescopes will be available on both the South and North rims of Grand Canyon National Park.”
In addition, the park bookstores “will sell solar viewing cards for $1 while supplies last.”
Weather permitting, astronomers told USA Today and other media that “visitors at 33 national parks along the eclipse path will see the disc of the moon within the disco of the sun, with six parks at the center of the eclipse path: Redwoods and Lassen Volcanic in California; Zion in Utah; Grand Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona and the Canyon De Chelly National Monument and Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico.”
For more details on solar eclipse viewing options, go to the park service’s new website, nature.nps.gov/features/eclipse/.
Super Moon reported in Mayan prophecy
The Mayan or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy – dubbed “The Mayan Prophecy” – suggests that “bright lights” in the sky; while the Mayan’s also prophesied “sudden or major changes in the year 2012.”
In turn, Guy P. Harrison’s new book “50 Popular Beliefs that People Think are True” states that the Mayan Prophecy is not clear on how the Earth will end on December 21, 2012. For instance, Harrison writes on page 392 of his new book that the Mayans didn’t specify “if the world is going to explode, implode, collide, flood, fry, freeze or vanish on December 21, 2012.”
Harrison also references Mark Van Stone’s book “2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya,” as pointing to “the notion of a ‘Great Cycle’ coming to an end in 2012," with this grave prediction coming from these ancient people who are best known for worshipping the Sun as a god.
Thus, the Los Angeles Times had fun with its front page headline May 4 asking: “It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s supermoon!” while explaining the Saturday, May 5, moon was at its closest point to the Earth for the entire year at “about 9 p.m. Pacific time.”
Moreover, Harrison explains in his new book that Mayan’s predicting the same super moon and then a rare solar eclipse occurring in 2012 back in ancient times before Christ as helping to stoke the fire of the damming Mayan prophecy that claims Earth’s end times are now here in 2012.
Harrison thus writes on page 393 of his new book that “the popularity of the 2012 claim is remarkable, even for a species long-obsessed with bizarre and baseless end-of-world predictions.”
Still, he writes that “Nostradamus new centuri8es ago that 2012 would be doomsday.”
See you on the dark side of the Moon
Roger Waters wrote the song “Eclipse” for Pink Floyd’s landmark album “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Waters later told Rolling Stone in an interview how “the moon has always intrigued me and others on Earth since time began.”
“Eclipse” by Roger Waters
“All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark."
Eclipse means lots of different things
Other fans of the moon’s shadow, including the late astronomer Carl Sagan explained: “It’s a primal thrill – this astronomical light show when, in solemn darkness, the eclipse echoes back to the dawn of man.”
Also, a talking paper from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center - about this occurrence of the Moon moving between the Earth and the Sun – states how as seen from the Earth, the May 20 “solar eclipse” is rare and only happens about every two decades.
While an eclipse is a “natural phenomenon,” it still carried a lot of significance in ancient times; while an eclipse happening today in 2012 still impacts some cultures and people with a sort of “supernatural message” that includes “bad omens.”
For instance, a solar eclipse – such as the one happening on May 20 – was mentioned in an Assyrian text from 763 BC as producing great darkness and fear. Also, the ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that “Thales of Miletus” predicted an eclipse that occurred during a war between the Medians and the Lydians; while in 480 BC Herodotus also predicted how a solar eclipse at Sparta took place during the famed “Second Persian invasion of Greece.”
Whereas today’s next solar eclipse takes place in the western regions of the U.S. on May 20 with lots of anticipation about “what this eclipse means for the people of Earth?” For instance, Albert Einstein used a solar eclipse from 1919 to confirm his theory of general relativity in much the same way that the ancient Mayans used the sun to predict the future.
Image source from this original photograph of the 1919 eclipse which was claimed to confirm Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. Photo courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse