A Solar Eclipse Q & A

What is it like to experience a total eclipse?

For places within the 70-mile-wide “path of totality” of this Monday’s eclipse it will be like sunset suddenly arriving in the middle of the day. The air temperature will drop, stars may appear, and animals could become confused.

Is this eclipse a sign of the end of the world?

Quite likely not. On average, total eclipses occur on earth more than sixty times every century. This particular eclipse simply happens to span across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. However, it is always a good time to “repent and believe in the Gospel.”

Will we be able to see the solar eclipse in Wisconsin?

The Moon will not completely block out the Sun’s light in Wisconsin, but about 80% of the Sun will be obscured here on Monday at 1:10 PM local time. (Click here to check for your own zip-code, and review this important eye-safety info on viewing the eclipse.)

How do we know this eclipse is coming?

The Sun, Earth, and Moon move through the heavens according to God’s physical laws like clockwork. This makes it possible to accurately predict when eclipses will happen in the future or to calculate when they have occurred in the distant past.

Has our part of Wisconsin ever been in the direct path of a total eclipse?

This has happened here several times since Jesus Christ was born: on April 2, 610[*]: the year Mohammad began preaching Islam; on September 21, 1205: the year after the Crusaders sacked Constantinople; on April 6, 1503: the year Leonardo da Vinci began the Mona Lisa; and most recently on June 30, 1954: the month “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Did Jesus ever see a solar eclipse during his lifetime in Israel?

One solar eclipse’s “path of totality” went through nearby Syria on November 22, 29 AD and perhaps Jesus saw the Sun become more than 90% obscured that day. Luke’s Gospel records that “the sun was darkened,” or eclipsed, the afternoon of Jesus’ crucifixion. Since solar eclipses are not naturally possible when there is a full moon (as at the time of the Jewish Passover) this failing of the Sun’s light must be due to some other natural or supernatural phenomena.

[*] – All Julian calendar dates (October 15, 1582 and earlier) have been converted to Gregorian calendar dates.

5 Responses to “A Solar Eclipse Q & A”

  1. Tom Lang Says:

    How dare a priest talk about science! Hahaha!

  2. Rich Says:

    Excellent post, thank you, Father. I particularly enjoyed the last question. It’s interesting to think about solar eclipses during Jesus’ lifetime and whether or not he may have witnessed one.

    I consider the occurrence of a solar eclipse to be a kind of “proof” for the existence of God. It seems to me to be more than just coincidence that the relative sizes and distances of the Earth-Moon-Sun system are such that, every now and then, the apparent disk of the Moon almost exactly covers the apparent disk of the Sun. Solar eclipses are one more way that the created universe reflects God’s glory and goodness. I like to think that He gave them to us for our enjoyment and wonderment!

  3. teo Says:

    “… I like to think that He gave them to us for our enjoyment and wonderment!”
    and I might add to have us experience a bit of terror (its spooky) in letting us know that He is in charge. Not us. He can take the sun away anytime he wants.

  4. J.Danabal Says:

    As told in Revelation that a woman {Mary} clothed with sun and standing on the moon, witnessed by the Apostle from Earth means Sun as Mary’s dress was above and directly below was moon and below was earth. Something like a total solar eclipse being described in Revelation. Only a premise, not to be taken literally, however, either the end of the world or the last day of our life on earth, both are equal and should be taken as the end of the world for a particular person. Let us be prepared for that day whichever comes early.

  5. Samuel Crow Says:

    Earlier in the year, I read an article claiming the eclipse meant God was angry with the US over homosexuality referencing apocalyptic events that occurred after the eclipses. So it was a welcome article in my mind. My reading of a couple of the prophets was very different in conclusion.

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