We were in awe the way our ancestors were. As outlined in USA Today, Christopher Columbus knew one was coming and used it to impress natives, in other countries they would ban pots and pans. In both cases the eclipses retreated just as predicted. Science!
Throughout history, people have interpreted eclipses differently. In Mexico, a pregnant woman was not to look at an eclipse or her child might have a cleft palate, yet in Italy, people planted flowers during an eclipse because it was said they would grow better than if they were planted at other times of the year.
Though solar eclipses occur about once every 18 months, they are often only visible where few live, so for most of us, they retain that sense of awe because they're rare for us individually. In 2017 the total solar eclipse traveled all the way across the US, and millions of people got to witness it. A shared experience that generated a lot of enthusiasm.
To help you plan your future solar eclipse vacations, or your flower plantings, RS in the UK has created this handy infographic. Worth noting:
The longest total solar eclipse will be August 2nd 2027 and last 6 minutes and 23 seconds.
In 2057, we will be treated to two total solar eclipses in the same year.
Buy your plane tickets early, though if the US in 2017 was any indication it was hotel rooms that were harder to find. (Click the image to get the large size for easier viewing)
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