Throughout the history of astronomy, astrologers could make accurate predictions about the ingress of eclipses. The word eclipse comes from the Greek word ekleipsis which means to disappear. For example, in China eclipses were associated with the Emperor’s health and success. If the astrologer was unable to predict the exact date of eclipse, he risks his own life.
Babylonians also have big experience and there are even discoveries in which the eclipse of 3 May 1375 BC was predicted. They were the first to use the Saros cycle in predicting eclipses. The Saros cycle is linked to the monthly cycle and has a duration of 6,585.3 days (18 years, 11 days and 8 hours).
Herodotus had been written that the Solar eclipse of 585 BC ceased the war between the Lydian people and the Medes people (an ancient Iranian people), those were interpreting the appearance of the eclipse as a sign of making peace.
Greek astronomer Hipparchus of Nicaea used an eclipse moment to measure the distance of the Moon to Earth (429,000 km). Which means about 11% more than the average distance currently accepted by scientists.
There are many pioneers of antiquity that have made important contributions to better understanding of the phenomenon of eclipses, for example, Chinese astronomer Liu Xiang, Greek philosopher Plutarch, and Byzantine historian Leo the Deacon attempted to describe and explain the characteristics of Solar Eclipses. Much later, astronomer Johannes Kepler made scientific observations about eclipses. Then Edmond Halley predicted the eclipse of May 3, 1715 with a very good accuracy.
Here’s a short list of Solar Eclipses in human history that brought important scientific information about the Sun, Moon and Solar System:
On January 27, 632 there was an annular solar eclipse that was said to have been visible in Medina and have been occurred when the death of the Prophet Muhammad’ son, Ibrahim was happened.
On August 2, 1133, there was a total solar eclipse and it is also called King Henry’s Eclipse because he died shortly after the peak of the eclipse, which has strengthened popular belief that solar eclipses also bring death to an important ruler (emperor, king, president and so on).
The earliest scientifically useful photograph of a total solar eclipse was made by Julius Berkowski at the Royal Observatory in Königsberg, Prussia, on July 28, 1851. It was the first correctly exposed photographic image taken during totality thereby including the sun’s corona.
On July 21/22, 2009 was the longest 21st-century total solar eclipse with a duration of 6 minutes and 39 seconds.
Regardless of the astronomical or astrological phenomenon, people will ask questions and try to find out the mysteries of the universe, which is why I invite you to remain curious during your life and learn from the wisdom of nature.
Do not forget, the light does not exist without dark.