Did you know that on 9th March 2016, we could see total solar eclipse in Indonesia?
Solar eclipse takes place when the moon passes between the Sun and Earth. Although it is not a thing we experience everyday, solar eclipse is just another natural phenomenon. The development of technology and science help us to understand that phenomenon better.
There are four types of solar eclipse that we know until now. They are:
Total solar eclipse, like the one that happens in Indonesia, is a rare event. There is a fun fact about total solar eclipse: it is estimated that on average, total solar eclipses happen again in certain location once every 360 to 410 years. Although known to be a rare event, we can see it somewhere around the world every 18 month. So, you do not have to wait for the recurrence in Indonesia for that long, you just have to go to another country! It’s a plausible excuse to travel even more, don’t you think?
We know that solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon now. However, there was a time when people believed that eclipse was mystical which usually related to demon or animal ate the Sun or Moon. In the past, ancient Javanese people believed that a giant, called Batara Kala, ate the sun when solar eclipse took place. The Javanese belief is not the only superstition related to solar eclipse. In Vietnam culture, people believed that a giant frog devoured the Sun. Viking people believed that it was wolves who swallowed the Sun while the Kwakiutl tribe on the western coast of Canada believed that the Sun is being consumed by the mouth of heaven. Ancient Greeks believed that solar eclipse indicated that the gods were angry and it was an indicator of bad thing and according to Korean folklore the Sun was stolen by mythical dogs during the eclipse. All these superstitions tried to explain what happen with the Sun that turned dark at that time.
Besides those myths, there is a story about eclipse in relation to reconciliation which still has held until today. The story is from Africa, specifically people of Batammaliba in Togo and Benin. They believe that eclipse happens when the Sun and Moon are fighting. The people want the Sun and Moon to stop fighting and be buoyed up. This event is still being celebrated by the people to gather and resolve their old problems.
Although it is not an uncommon natural phenomenon, it is predicted and calculated that a total solar eclipse will not happen again in Indonesia until 2042 according to Wikipedia. If there’s any of you has not got the time to watch the celestial event on 9 March, then you will have to wait 26 years later to get the opportunity!
Eclipse (noun): gerhana
Solar Eclipse (noun): gerhana matahari
Phenomenon (noun, singular), phenomena (plural) : fenomena
Devour (verb) : makan dengan lahap hingga habis tak bersisa
Swallow (verb) : menelanCelestial (adjective): dari langit/ angkasa, dari luar bumi
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