ECLIPSES inour Solar System

ECLIPSEprediction requires accurate CALENDARS.

According to aNASA GSFC Fred Espenak web page: "... The periodicity andrecurrence of eclipses is governed by the Saros cycle, a period ofapproximately 6,585.3 days (18 years 11 days 8 hours). ... The Sarosarises from a natural harmony between three of the Moon's orbitalperiods:

One Saros is equal to 223 synodic months. However, 242 draconicmonths and 239 anomalistic months are also equal to this same period(to within a couple hours)! Any two eclipses separated by one Saroscycle share very similar geometries. They occur at the same node withthe Moon at nearly the same distance from Earth and at the same timeof year. Because the Saros period is not equal to a whole number ofdays, its biggest drawback is that subsequent eclipses are visiblefrom different parts of the globe. The extra 1/3 day displacementmeans that Earth must rotate an additional 8 hours or 120º witheach cycle. For solar eclipses, this results in the shifting of eachsuccessive eclipse path by 120º westward. Thus, a Saros seriesreturns to about the same geographic region every 3 Saroses (54 yearsand 34 days). A Saros series doesn't last indefinitely because thevarious lunar periods are not perfectly commensurate with oneanother. In particular, the Moon's node shifts eastward by about0.5º with each cycle. A typical Saros series for a solar eclipsebegins when new Moon occurs about 18 degrees east of a node. If thefirst eclipse occurs at the Moon's descending node, the Moon's umbralshadow will pass 3500 km below Earth and a partial eclipse will bevisible from the south polar region. On the following return, theumbra will pass about 300 km closer to Earth and a partial eclipse ofslightly larger magnitude will result. After ten or eleven Saroscycles (about 200 years), the first central eclipse will occur nearthe south pole of Earth. Over the course of the next 950 years, acentral eclipse will occur at each Saros but will be displacednorthward by an average of 300 km. Halfway through this period,eclipses of long duration will occur near the equator. The lastcentral eclipse of the series will occur near the north pole. Thenext approximately ten eclipses will be partial with successivelysmaller magnitudes. Finally, the Saros series will end some 13centuries after it began at the opposite pole. A typical series maybe comprised of 70 to 80 eclipses, about 50 of which are central(i.e. - total or annular). If a Saros series begins near theascending node, the first eclipse will be partial from the northernpolar region and the previous sequence of events is reversed. Sincethere are two to five solar eclipses every year, there areapproximately forty different Saros series in progress at any onetime. ...".



Moon Orbit | Earth Spin,Tides, and Interior

Jupiter, Io, Ganymede, Callisto,Europa

According to aNASA/Goddard Eclipse web page:

"... Total Lunar Eclipse of November 09 [2003] ...The second lunar eclipse of the year occurs [ in the middle ofRamadan ] sixlunations after the first. ... it is thevery last total eclipse of Saros 126. ... The entire eclipse will bevisible from Europe and most of Africa as well as the easternAmericas. ...

Total Solar Eclipse of November 23 [2003] ... [at the end of Ramadan] ... a total solar eclipse visible from the Southern Hemisphere... like May's annular eclipse, the Novemberevent features a lunar shadow moving in the "wrong" direction. Onceagain, the explanation lies in the deep southern track of the umbracoupled with the close proximity of the eclipse with winter solstice.As viewed from the Sun's direction, the shadow passes around the"back" side of the pole between Earth's axis of rotation and theterminator. ...".

According to aNASA/Goddard Eclipse web page the "...

 Annular SolarEclipse of May 31 (member 22 of 80 in Saros Series147) ...[

(picture taken by Stuart Baird in Stornoway, UK,shown on aBBC web page)]...

... is a very unusual annular eclipse which takes place in theNorthern Hemisphere ...

... The axis of the Moon's shadow passes to the far north where itbarely grazes Earth's surface. In fact, the northern edge of theantumbra actually misses our planet so that one path limit is definedby the day/night terminator rather by the shadow's upper edge. As aresult, the track of annularity has a peculiar "D" shape which isnearly 1200 kilometres wide. Since the eclipse occurs just threeweeks prior to the northern summer solstice, Earth's northern axis ispointed sunwards by 21.8°. As seen from the Sun, the antumbralshadow actually passes between the North Pole and the terminator. Asa consequence of this extraordinary geometry, the path of annularityruns from east to west instead of visa versa. ...

...[On the precedingfull moon of 16 May 2003]... a total lunar eclipse ...occurs just half a day after perigee so the Moon will appear quitelarge (33.4 arc-minutes). During this event, the Moon is low on theecliptic in Libra approximately fifteen degrees west of the firstmagnitude star Alpha Scorpii (Antares). ... The eastern half of NorthAmerica will witness the entire event, while the partial phases willalready be in progress at moonrise from the western portions of thecontinent. ...".

According to a16 May 2003 BBC web page: "... Friday, 16 May, 2003,...[was]... Vesak - the holiest Buddhist festival of the year... - the festival of lights that honours the birth, death andenlightenment of Buddha ...[in 2003]... Vesak coincides withthe 50th anniversary of the climbing of Everest ...

...[the image shows a]... prayer-flag pole...[being]... raised in Tengboche, Nepal ...".

According to aCal Poly Pomona web page: "... Probably the most efficientholiday in the calendar is Vesak (also known as Wesak, Visaka, andVisakha). Named after the month in which it occurs, Vesak is heldon the full moon day of the fifth month.  Vesak celebrates thebirth, the enlightenment, and the death of the Buddha. In asense, the festival is a reminder that the possibility exists foreach of us to attain enlightenment. Vesak festival includes payinghomage to the Buddha with incense, flowers, candles and food. Visitsto temples and sacred sites are commonplace....[However, some Buddhists celebrate thefull]... moon day of the sixth lunar month ...[as the] the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and passed away...[and that day, a month later, is called ... Visakha Puja Day...[and, further,]... In the Northern [Buddhist]Tradition ...[Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death arecelebrated on three different dates. ...". Perhaps some of thesevarying dates correspond to different ways to reconcile the solar andlunar aspects of a solar-lunarcalendar.

On 4 December 2002 (end of Ramadan),according to aNASA/Goddard Eclipse web page: "... On Wednesday, 2002 December04, a total eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrowcorridor which traverses the Southern Hemisphere. ...

... The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in the SouthAtlantic and crosses southern Africa. After traversing the southernIndian Ocean, the path sweeps through southern Australia where theeclipse ends at sunset. ...".

About two days before 4 December 2002,around the 27th night of Ramadan, isthe Night of Power. In the year2002, the Hebrew month Kislev coincides(roughly, within 2 or 3 days or so) with theIslamic month Ramadan, so that the end of Ramadan occurs duringHanukah, an 8-day period at the end of Kislev through the first 2 or3 days or so of Tevet. In 2002, the last day of Hanukah (7 December,2 Tevet) is 2 or 3 days after Ramadan.

On 10 June 2002, according to aFred Espanak GSFC press release: "... an eclipse of the Sun willbe visible from eastern Asia, thePacific Ocean and much of North America. From some locations,more than 99% of the Sun's disk will be hidden by the Moon. .... Aglobal map of Earth shows the exact region of eclipse visibility(outlined in red). ...

... June's annular path is nearly 14,000 kilometers long, it isonly 13 to 78 kilometers wide. The path of annularity is plotted inblue on the global map of the eclipse ... From Asia and the westernPacific, the eclipse actually occurs on June 11 because of theInternational Date Line ... Greatest eclipse6 occurs at 23:48:15 UTabout 2600 kilometers northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. The durationof the annular phase lasts a scant 23 seconds, but the event takesplace in open ocean with no landfall in sight. ...". It was member35 of 70 in Saros Series 137.

On 30 December 2001 a penumbrallunar eclipse could be seen by most of the Earth except centraland southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Antarctica.

On 14 December 2001 (end of Ramadan),an annularsolar eclipse could be seen in the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica, andthe Caribbean Sea. It could be seen as a partial eclipse, beginningat sunrise in the Pacific Ocean around Midway, visible in most ofNorth America and some of South America, and ending in the Caribbeanaround the Lesser Antillles, including Anguilla. It coincides withthe Geminid Meteor shower.

About two days before 14 December 2001, around the 27th night ofRamadan, is theNight of Power. In the year 2001, the Hebrewmonth Kislev coincides (roughly, within 2 or 3days or so) with the Islamic month Ramadan, so that the end ofRamadan occurs during Hanukah, an 8-day period at the end of Kislevthrough the first 2 or 3 days or so of Tevet. In 2001, the last dayof Hanukah (17 December, 2 Tevet) is 1 or 2 days after Ramadan.

The full moon of the month before Ramadan,the 15th night of Shabaan, is the Nightof Record, which is an Islamic holiday similar to Halloween - AllSaints Day - All Souls Day. In 2001, the Nightof Record falls on the Halloween 31 October 2001 Full Moon(following the 2 October 2001 Harvest Moon).The Halloween 2001 Full Moon, at sunset, looks like

the Great Pumpkin rising from the Pumpkin Patch of the East.The following year, 2002, the New Moon of Ramadancoincides with 1 Kislev 5763, beginning at sunset of 5 November 2002.

According to A Neopagan Druid Calendar, by Isaac Bonewits, the Major High Day of Samhain "... is the original festival that became ... Halloween ... The day before Samhain is the last day of summer (or the old year) and the day after Samhain is the first day of winter (or of the new year).Being "between" seasons or years, Samhain was (and is) considered a very magical time ...".

According to"... Los Diasde los Muertos, the Days of the Dead, is atraditional Mexico holiday honoring the dead. It is celebrated everyyear at the same time as Halloween and the Christian holy days of AllSaints Day and All Souls Day (November 1st and 2nd). ... The Aztecsbelieved in an afterlife where the spirits of their dead would returnas hummingbirds and butterflies. Even images carved in the ancientAztec monuments show this belief - the linking the spirits of thedead and the Monarch butterfly. ...

...[image from a FloridaMonarch Butterfly webpage]...

... Every autumn Monarch Butterflies, which havesummered up north in the United States and Canada, return to Mexicofor the winter protection of the oyamel fir trees [whichdid not prevent the death of 250 million Monarchs in January2002 ]. The locale inhabitants welcomeback the returning butterflies, which they believe bear the spiritsof their departed. The spirits to be honored during Los Dias de losMuertos. ...".


On 21 June 2001, the southernhemisphere winter solstice, a totalsolar eclipse "... begins in the South Atlantic about 400kilometres southeast of Uruguay ... sweeps across the South Atlantic... crosses southern Africa [ passing over the southern end ofthe African Rift Valley ]andMadagascar, and ends at sunset in the Indian Ocean ... A partialeclipse will be seen ...[in]... eastern South America and thesouthern two thirds of Africa ...".

On 25 December 2000, a partialsolar eclipse could be seen in North America.

The Julian date of 25 December 2000 - GannaChristmas - fell on Gregorian 7 January 2001, two days beforethe

9 January 2001 Total Lunar Eclipse Full Moon

( image from

of the beginning of the 42 days of KumbhMela at the confluence of the Ganga,Yamuna, and SaraswatiRivers near Allahabad, India, where millions of people gather and seea Total Lunar Eclipse near the end of the Yearof the Dragon when and where Garuda comes to bring Amrit(nectar). The Amrit had been gathered for Indraby the mountain Mandarachal (the staff), Vishnu (as koorm, tortoise,the base), Brahma (the top), and Vasuki (serpent, the string) actingtogether to churn the ocean, producing 14Ratnas (jewels) and Amrit. Garuda, guided by Brihasapati(Jupiter) carried a kumbh(pitcher) of Amrit around the heavens, stopping 4 times (once at theSaraswati-Ganga-Yamunaconfluence), and completing a circuit every Jupiteryear (about 12 Earth years), so Kumbh Mela is celebrated at theSaraswati-Ganga-Yamunaconfluence every 12 years. Every 12thKumbh Mela (144 year cycle) is a Maha Kumbh Mela, and the 2001 KumbhMela is a Maha Kumbh Mela.  

On 13 January 2001, four days after the Lunar Eclipse Full Moon of9 January 2001, there was a 7.6magnitude Earthquake in El Salvador, antipodal to themouth of the (now dry) Saraswati River.

Although the following New Moon of 24 January 2001 is notasolar eclipse, it does coincide with the 24 January 2001 end ofthe Chinese Year of the MetalDragon. According to the BBC:"... The Maha Kumbh Mela ... sees millions of devotees bathe in theGanges to purify their sins. ... This extraordinary picture was takenby Space Imaging's Ikonossatellite on Tuesday ...[ 23 January 2001 ]...

Timed at 1030 am, the image shows what was happening at the startof the most sacred and busiest bathing day (Mauni Amavasya) of thefestival. Vast numbers of people are moving down to the waters. ...The festival lasts just over a month. The authorities have spentmillions of dollars on security and other arrangements with in excessof 30 million people expected to attend. ...". Shortly afterward, on26 January 2001,

a 7.9 magnitude Earthquake thatkilled 20,000 people was centered at themouth of the (now dry) Saraswati River.

11 August 1999 - TotalSolar Eclipse:

It passes through the NATOareas of the North Atlantic, Britain, France, Germany, and Austria,(and a bit of NATO applicant Slovenia), and Hungary beforeit gets to BALKAN Yugoslavia andRomania.

After it gets to BALKANYugoslavia and Romania, it goes to Bulgaria, passes overthe Black Sea, and then through Turkey, Iraqand Iran, and Pakistanand India to the Indian Ocean.


Its Maximum is in BALKANRomania:


According to the BBC,Wednesday, August 11, 1999: "... Starting off the American coast, theshadow of the Moon raced across the Atlantic at 2,400 kph (1,500mph). ...

... [CNN carried thisEUMETSAT image

of the shadow] ... A million people had travelled to Cornwall,south-west England, so they could stand in line with the Sun andMoon. ... Joining them in the straight line to the Sun was heavycloud cover. ... The eclipse as seen from an RAF Hercules at 1025BST:


... The eclipse as seen from the RAF Hercules at 1111 BST:

... At 1113BST Cornwall's famous St Michael's Mount disappearsinto the shadows:

... [The German city of Munich

had overtwo minutes of totality.] ...there were clear skies ... inMunich - right until the moment of totality ... [when] ...heavy rains broke just at the moment of totality, making the event awashout. ...

The streets of Ramnicu Valcea, the south-central city in Romaniawhere totality could be seen the longest, were crammed.

In Egypt, Muslims shut themselves away on the orders of clerics.Others flocked to mosques as earthquakesand an out-of-season hailstorm intensified unease.

... [CNN carried thisDiamond-Ring image

from Diyarbakir, Turkey]

... In some Indian villages, priests rang temple bells and tookturns beating steel plates with sticks to ward off evil. But, likePakistan, cloud cover meant most of India saw the eclipse departingthe way it had arrived - obscured.

It finally ended in the Bay of Bengal at 12.36GMT. ...".



28 July 1999 - Partial Lunar Eclipse

seen from Beijing (image from Xinhua)roughly coincided with the Chinesegovernment declaring Falun Dafa to be illegal.

20-21 January 2000 - Total Lunar Eclipse

seen most prominently in North America occurred in Year5760 at the Full Moon immediately preceding the New Moon ofthe beginning of the Yearof the Dragon.

The image, from the BBC,is of the eclipse as viewed from Londinia, Brazil.


5 February 2000 - Partial Solar Eclipse

seen in Antarctica occurred in Year5760 at the New Moon of thebeginning of the Year of the Dragon.According to FredEspenak's eclipse web pages,"... This event is the sixteenthpartial eclipse of Saros series 150. The series will produce itsfirst of forty annular eclipses beginning with the year 2126 andcontinuing for the next seven centuries. ...".


On 30 May 1984,

my parents' 44th wedding anniversary, theyand I went to the roof of the Physics Building

at Georgia Tech where we saw

this Solar annular eclipse:

It was member 34 of 70 in Saros Series137.

On 26 September 1996 (localAtlanta time), a totalLunar eclipse

could (except for clouds) be seen from Africa to North America.Then, Comet Hale-Bopp wasvisible from Atlanta, and Moon was very near Saturn.

The Moon would be near Mars about 6 monthslater, on 23 March 1997 (local Atlanta time), the time of an umbrallunar eclipse, which coincided with a FalunDafa seminar by Li Hongzhi in New York City. That lunar eclipsewas a day after Comet Hale-Bopp wasnearest the Earth, and immediately followed a thetotal solar eclipse of 9 March 1997.

Then, Comet Hale-Bopp wouldbe nearing perihelion, but would be just below the horizon inAtlanta.

The next lunar eclipse, a total one about16 September 1997, would be visible in Asia but not in Atlanta.

Then the Moon would be about halfway between Saturn andJupiter.

After that,

the next lunar eclipse visible in Atlanta(which immediately follows the 26 February 1998 TotalSolar Eclipse at Montserrat)

would only be a penumbral eclipse on 13 March 1998, with Neptune,Venus, Uranus, Jupiter, the Sun, Mars, Mercury, and Saturn

on the Asia side of the Earth.

13 March 1998 - PenumbralLunar Eclipse

fully visible in the contiguous United States - a full moon occurson the same date roughly every 19 years, so a 13 March 1998 full moonmeans that a full moon occurred at the same date (or within hours ofit) in 1979, 1960, 1941, ... .



On 12 October 1996, a partialsolar eclipse

could be seen in northeastern Canada shortly after sunrise and inEurope and North Africa around sunset. The eclipse was deepest(magnitude 76 percent) just off Norway's North Cape. A few hoursafter the eclipse, the sun and moon were below the horizon insouthern North America.

12 October 1996 was the date of thefirst Falun Dafa seminar in the USA (Houston) of Teacher LiHongzhi.

On9 March 1997, (preceding the 23 March 1997lunar eclipse) a totalsolar eclipse

moved from Gora Belukha, 14,783 feet, thehighest Altai Mountain, to near the North Pole.

Looking East at dawn on 9 March 1997 from the top of Gora Belukhayou would see

Gora Belukha may be known in China as KunlunShan, home of Xi Wang Mu, the Queen of the West, and in India asSu Meru, home of Indra.




THE ORBIT OF EARTH'S MOON is not onlysuch that the angular diameters of the Moon and Sun as seen fromEarth are both about half a degree, so that both total and annulareclipses can occur, but is also such that the Moon's gravitystabilizes the tilt of Earth's spin axis to about 23.5 degrees, giveor take about 1.3 degrees. If the Moon were not there, the tilt ofEarth's spin axis would be unstable and vary from 0 to 85 degrees,according to calculations by Jacques Laskar.

Discover,January 1994 - TheMoon of Our Delight by Robert Naeye

The Earth's spin axis precesses around a 23.5 degree cone whosecenter is at the center of the Earth and whose axis is perpendicularto the plane of Earth's orbit, producing the precessionof the equinoxes, a 26,000 year cycle stabilized by the moon andsun.

Gravitational interaction between the Moon and the Earth not onlystabilizes the tilt of Earth's spin axis, it also produces tides inEarth's oceans. Since the Earth rotates about 28 times faster thanthe Moon orbits the Earth, the tidal bulge of the Earth's oceansprecedes the Moon's position, and pulls the Moon into a faster andhigher orbit. The Moon will continue to recede from the Earth (byabout 4 cm/year) until the lunar month equals the solar Earth day,and the tidal bulge is always directly below the Moon. (Universe, byKaufmann, Freeman 1994)

The Earth's gravitational field can be measured by artificialsatellites accurately enough to indicate the general topography ofthe ocean floor.

Discover, March1996 - TheSeafloor from Space by Robert Kunzig

The Earth's crust is affected by the Moon'sgravity from above, and from below by the mantle, the outer core, andthe inner core.

According to aPittsburgh Supercomputing Center web page:

"... There's a giant crystal buried deep within the Earth, at the very center, more than 3,000 miles down. ...

... Earth's solid-iron inner core is "anisotropic" -- it has a directional quality, a texture similar to the grain in wood, that allows sound waves to go faster when they travel in a certain direction. ... at the inner core, the pressure is so great -- 3.5 million times surface pressure -- that iron solidifies, even though the temperature is believed to exceed 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the surface of the sun. ...

... calculations showed ... bcc iron is unstable at high pressure and not likely to exist in the inner core. For the other two candidates, fcc and hcp, Stixrude and Cohen found that both can exist at high pressure and both would be directional (anisotropic) in how they transmit sound. Hcp iron, however, gives a better fit with the seismic data. All this was new information, but even more surprising was this: To fit the observed anisotropy, the grain-like texture of the inner core had to be much more pronounced than previously thought. ... If all the crystals must point in the same direction, why not one big crystal? The results, published in Science, offer the simplest, most convincing explanation yet put forward for the observed seismic data ...".

According to a2 October 2002 BC article:

"... there is evidence of another, smaller, core

hidden within ... the Earth's inner core ... The inner core ... is solid, about 2,440 km across, and composed mainly of iron and nickel. ... the shock-waves from earthquakes on one side of the world were measured by sensors on the opposite surface. ... a wave travelling from north to south moved faster than one going east to west. It is believed that this effect happens because the core has been formed in a crystalline manner ... The latest research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that a wave precisely targeted through the inner core behaved differently depending on which part of the core it travelled through. There appeared to be a separate "inner inner" core - perhaps 600 km in diameter. Not only was the anisotropy effect much stronger - suggesting an even more crystalline composition - but the angle of most resistance, a guide to the alignment of these crystals, was different to that of the rest of the inner core. ... this difference may be the result of changes in the environment of the core during its formation. ...".


The anisotropic hexagonal close-packed structure of the Earth'ssolidiron crystal inner core may explainseismic and geomagnetic phenomena.

Differential rotation of the solid ironinner core and fluid outer core may partially explain movement ofthe Earth's magnetic poles.

The path of the Earth's poles during excursions and reversalsseems to be related to Schumannresonances.

TheEarth's magnetic field has been weakening for 2,000 years, whichmay indicate another excursion or reversal is coming.



Eclipses happen on Jupiter,too - 10 Nov 97.

(Jupiter image from,by Kenneth Chang (25 Feb 98))


Tony Smith's Home Page