A solar eclipse is an astronomical event that can be observed when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, leading to the sun’s total or partial occultation.
Now that it has been scientifically explained, there’s little room for myth-making around eclipses. But this wasn’t the case with ancient civilizations which had their unique myths to make sense of these occurrences. As the world gears up to witness another solar eclipse on 25 October 2022, we take a look at some of these old myths and try to debunk them with scientific facts.
1. Total Solar Eclipses Can Cause Blindness
Many people have believed over the years that solar eclipses tend to cause blindness. However, scientists have stated otherwise. During a total solar eclipse, when the disk of the moon fully covers the sun, the brilliant corona emits only electromagnetic radiation, though sometimes with a greenish hue. Being a million times fainter than the light from the sun itself, there is nothing in the coronal light that could cross 150 million kilometres of space, penetrate our dense atmosphere, and cause blindness, NASA scientists say.
2. Eclipses Can Poison The Food
Solar eclipses are rumoured to create harmful rays that can harm food. This was thought to have a direct relationship with the food that comes in direct contact with the sun i.e, crops and fields. Scientists have mentioned that it is perfectly safe to eat, drink and carry out daily activities during the eclipse. The only danger is when one views it with the naked eye.
3. Pregnant Women Must Not Watch The Eclipse
This myth is also related to the previous false idea that harmful radiation is emitted during a total solar eclipse. Although the electromagnetic radiation from the corona, seen as light, is perfectly safe, there is another form of radiation that travels to Earth from the sun. Scientists have shared that these minute neutrons that travel to the earth and can penetrate a solid body have no harmful effects. It is an entirely harmless effect and would not harm those who are pregnant or the developing fetus.
4. Solar Eclipse Can Predict Events Ahead Of Time
The celestial effects and how they control human behaviour have been studied under the concept of astrology. While solar eclipses don’t hold the capacity to predict anything – there is nothing other than human psychology that connects eclipses with future events in your life.
5. Eclipse Can Effect Health
It has been believed over the period that one must restrict their chores during the time of the eclipse to avoid any ill effect on health and life. People even close the temple doors and do not pray at that time. And after the eclipse, idols are supposed to be washed to be purified. Scientists have explained that there are no such gases released and that the effect will not cause any kind of damage to us or worshipping idols.
Have you heard of any such myths? Let us know in the comments below.
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