The Great American Eclipse of 2017 finally happened today. Some people thought it was one of the most incredible experiences of their lives. Others were underwhelmed. I was in between.
This has been a topic of interest for my family for a little while. We thought about going to Southern Illinois to see the total eclipse, or at least driving to Springfield, IL, where the eclipse would be about 95%. We decided it wasn’t worth the drive, and watched it from home. Here, the moon covered approximately 90% of the sun.
My parents did drive down to Southern Illinois. I haven’t spoken to them about it yet, but I am grateful that they ordered these glasses for us, or we would have missed out big time!
We had heard it would be overcast, so we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to see anything. Around 11:40 AM, when it was supposed to start, I decided to just take a look. The sun was visible through the clouds, but it wasn’t apparent that anything strange was going on. When I put the glasses on, I could see that the moon was beginning to cover the sun. We spent the next two hours watching.
Since it was not a total eclipse here, it got somewhat dark, but from what I have heard, nothing like the sensation of being in the path of the total eclipse. I’ve heard that it was amazing.
So, today I have been thinking a lot about the universe and how incredible it is. In particular, I’ve been thinking about how the size of the moon, and the size of the sun, in relation to their distances from each other, and then from the Earth make a total eclipse possible. The moon has to be just the right size and distance from the sun to perfectly cover it. We, then, have to be just the right distance to view this phenomenon.
I may have first had this pointed out to me by Frank Turek. I’m sure I didn’t come up with it on my own. I got to wondering – what is the ratio of the size of the sun compared to the moon? What is the distance that makes this possible? So, I did a little Bing search, and found the answer on a couple of different websites.
The strange thing is, while I was searching for facts to talk about how God’s existence is undeniable, I happened upon a website that said just the opposite. It’s a post about eclipse hunters. These people found the sensation so wonderful the first time they experienced it, that they wanted to experience it again and again. So, they travel the world to observe as many total eclipses as they can. Here’s the post: Eclipse Chasers – Esquire.
Here’s the quote: “And it’s all to see something that’s a total fluke. Our moon’s diameter is almost exactly 1/400th that of the sun’s, while the sun is about 400 times farther away from the Earth than the moon—so they appear to be the same diameter in the sky. It’s a complete coincidence, and it’s one that won’t last forever.”
Really? A complete coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences.