A PARTIAL solar eclipse will be gracing the sky this Thursday with almost one-third of the Sun expected to be covered up.
We know this happens when the Moon’s orbit takes it between the Sun and the Earth but there’s been lots of conspiracies over the years that have tried to give solar eclipses other explanations.
How ancient people explained a solar eclipse
Lots of ancient cultures were confused by solar eclipses and thought it was the work of the gods or a beast in the sky.
In ancient western Asia, some people thought the Sun was being devoured by a dragon.
The Vikings thought two sky wolves were responsible for biting the Sun.
In China, an ancient myth suggests a total eclipse occurs when a sky dog is trying to eat the Sun.
In fact, an early word for eclipse in China was ‘shih’, which translates to “to eat”.
One of the first accounts of an eclipse in China dates back to 2136 BC and suggests Emperor Chung K’ang killed his royal astronomers for not predicting an eclipse.
It was a Chinese tradition to bang drums during an eclipse in an attempt to scare the ‘sky dog’ away.
Doomsday solar eclipse
Most rare celestial events come with cries that doomsday is upon us.
Back in 2017, a group of hardcore Christians claimed a solar eclipse seen in the UK and America would bring about an apocalypse.
Doomsayers expressed their concerns on Christian website Unsealed.
The conspiracy theorists pointed to passages from The Book of Revelation to support their predictions.
They highlighted passages describing a woman clothed in the Sun, with the Moon at her feet.
Scripture says the woman will be hunted by a Satanic seven-headed dragon looking to eat her unborn child.
Of course, we lived to tell the tale and no doomsday event happened after the 2017 solar eclipse.
The conspiracy theorists did hint at some uncertainty in their predictions as they’ve also said that scripture warns “no one knows” the hour of the apocalypse.
The Sun – all the facts you need to know
What is it, why does it exist, and why is it so ruddy hot all the time?
- The Sun is a huge star that lives at the centre of our solar system
- It’s a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, and provides most of the energy for life on Earth
- It measures a staggering 865,000 miles across – making it 109 times bigger than Earth
- But its weight is 330,000 times that of Earth, and accounts for almost all of the mass in the Solar System
- The Sun is mostly made up of hydrogen (73%), helium (25%) and then a number of other elements like oyxgen, carbon and iron
- Its surface temperature is around 5,505C
- Scientists describe the Sun as being “middle-aged”
- The Sun formed 4.6billion years ago, and tt’s been in its current state for around four billion years
- It’s expected that it will remain stable for another five billion years
- It doesn’t have enough mass to explode as a supernova
- Instead, we expect it to turn a hulking red giant
- During this phase, it will be so big that it will engulf Mercury, Venus and Earth
- Eventually it will turn into an incredibly hot white dwarf, and will stay that way for trillions of years
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