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Needs more cultural myths. Leonard G. 00:30, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Two little ones ( 07:02, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)):

The Eclipse IDE link does not belong here, it does belong at the other end of the disambiguation page.
Add link to the Mr Eclipse page? Mr Eclipse - Fred Espenak's site

````````It is interesting that when we as humans look up into the sky from where we stand within space-time, the moon fully covers the sun, and vice versa, during an eclipse. It's almost as if to show us that these two objects hold the same meaning, or equal meaning, and that they are special because of this relationship they share. However this relationship only exists because of relativity. In actuality, the moon is a tiny spec of dust compared to the sun. And the Earth is a specific distance from the sun, as is the moon. However, from our plane of existence in this universe, relative to where we are and where we stand, we are able to see them as perfect fits, a perfect pair of celestial bodies that govern and drive the forces into what makes us possible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Hybrid eclipses[edit]

Really? The Moon would have to be so near its annular/total crossover distance that its shadow cone literally grazes the observer's position within the duration of near-totality. Are there any known occurrences? -- Urhixidur 14:00, 2005 Jan 5 (UTC)

They're rare, but not dramatically so. Go to the eclipse search engine (linked from the article) and search for hybrids. There was one in April 2005; next one is 2013. -- Johantheghost 09:21, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Contradiction with Lunar phase[edit]

In this article, it is stated:

  • Lunar eclipses - the Earth obscures the Sun, from the Moon's point of view. The Moon moves through the shadow cast by the Earth. This can only happen at full moon.
  • Solar eclipses - the Moon occults the Sun, from the Earth's point of view. The Moon casts a shadow that touches the surface of the Earth. This can only happen at new moon.

However, in the Lunar phase article, the opposite appears to have been said: "Note that the plane of the Moon's orbit around the Earth is tilted by about 5 degrees with respect to the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Therefore, eclipses of the Moon during the full Moon and of the Earth by a new Moon are rare and usually newsworthy."

I believe what is being said is that it's rare to happen during a perfectly full or new moon, but I don't know enough about the subject to tell which is correct--someone who does should make them match up. Chris 01:24, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

A lunar eclipse will always be centered on the instant of full moon. A solar eclipse will always be centered on the instant of new moon. But because of the tilt of the Moon's orbit, a new or full Moon usually isn't perfect -- so eclipses are rare, as opposed to happening every new or full Moon. The "usually newsworthy" comment is a bit off, though. There are at least 4 eclipses every year, and most of them aren't particularly newsworthy -- marginal partial solar eclipses, or penumbral lunar eclipses, etc. I'll fix that. The Lunar phase article could use a little clarifying too. -- Johantheghost 09:28, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Redirect/Disambiguation Error[edit]

Currently, "Total Eclipse" redirects to this page, but its disambiguation page is not provided here (it is distinct from that of "eclipse"). I am not sure of how to fix this. If someone with a bit more know-how could take care of it, that would be nice. --Fell Collar 04:30, 4 April 2006 (UTC)


I think that this article is currently very unbalanced. The rationale for this topic is to describe eclipses in general, but the vast majority of the prose is about the Moon (which is a summary of solar eclipse and lunar eclipse), and there are only six sentences about other more general types of eclipses in our solar system. I presume that more can be said about the other planets; perhaps someone could contribute more information? Mabye it would be a good idea to slim down the Earth-Moon section as a start. Lunokhod 17:34, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I partially agree. It seems a bit overdone to have solar eclipse and lunar eclipse and eclipse, covering much the same material. However, I believe that the only other common eclipses are those of Galilean satellites with Jupiter (or at least the only ones regularly observed). Other alignment events are transits or occultations (and a solar eclipse can be considered an occultation too). Most people will only ever see a few lunar eclipses, so maybe the emphasis should be there. I'm not sure how to merge and expand these articles. Tom Peters 21:48, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
We could (1) take the intro paragraph, add it to wikitionary, (2) add terms like syzygy, transits and occultations to the diambiguation page, and (3) put this page up for deletion. If there is little support for this, I will not put this through the WP:AfD process. Lunokhod 20:45, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
It seems a bit drastic to remove this page altogether. "eclipse" is a bonafide lemma for an encyclopedia. I'm more concerned about the replications in the sub-pages. If this one goes, then there is nothing holding them together. Tom Peters 23:25, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Eclipse ~ misnomer?[edit]

Quoting a passage from the article

A solar eclipse is actually a misnomer; the phenomenon is more correctly described as an occultation.

I suspect "eclipse" had been in use in normal English long before anyone decided that "occultation" was a great word to be used. If that is the case, which I am sure is, than no amount of redefinition by astronomers would change our use of the word "eclipse". Therefore, to us ordinary folks, an occultation would simply be a type of eclipse.

If "occultation" is an astronomer's term, than calling an eclipse an eclipse is not a misnomer.

Should one day the Society of Engineers tell us that a bridge would be a misnomer and should instead be called a "drain overpass" and bridges are meant for span longer than 100metres? I don't think academic/professional societies has the capacity to willy-nilly change established language.

You may concoct your own deliberated technical terminology but attempting to push them onto established language and declaring normal lay terms which do not agree with deliberated terminology as "misnomer" is foolhardy and quixotic.

Use of established language in contrast with a deliberated technical term is not "misnomer". I wish someone would remove "misnomer" from the sentence or the sentence altogether.

Miamidot 16:46, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I have a question as to an actual misnomer, a solar eclipse should be called a terrestrial eclipse. A Lunar eclipse is when the moon is occluded by the Earth's shadow. By that definition a solar eclipse would be when the Sun is occluded by the Earth's shadow. Since this is patently silly, the more appropriate term should be Terrestrial Eclipse, when the Earth is occluded in shadow. Padillah (talk) 14:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Not really. The term is relative. We are on Earth and at a lunar eclipse the Moon becomes invisible, just as with a solar eclipse the Sun becomes invisible. The idea of shadow being cast is not the real meaning. Eclipse come from Greek "ek" (out) and "leipo" (leave). No concept of shadow involved. −woodstone (talk) 15:20, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no misnomer. Check dictionaries. Solar eclipses, which one could pedantically call "occultations of the sun by the moon as seen from the earth" are eclipses. Lunar eclipses, which are supposedly the only "real" eclipses, are eclipses. Check how people use the terms. Check NASA's eclipse page. An eclipse is when something you can normally see in the sky gets blotted out. There is a gray area between annular eclipses and transits, depending on just how big or small the object passing in front of the sun is, but not for anything you can see from Earth: The Moon can eclipse the Sun; everything else -- Venus, Mercury, the ISS with soon-to-dock space shuttle, whatever -- appears much smaller and thus transits it.
From browsing through APOD the term "occultation" is consistently used for a body (often the moon) blocking out something other than the sun, e.g., a planet or star. Note here, though, that in a grazing occultation of Saturn by the moon, the commenting astronomer also calls the occultation an eclipse. Likewise here, with Jupiter eclipsing Ganymede also being referred to as an occultation. That seems fine: some eclipses (notably solar eclipses on Earth) are also occultations. Occultations may also be called eclipses and astronomers don't seem to feel too strongly about it, at least when writing for the world at large.

For some reason people like to take a narrow technical distinction -- which may or may not actually be observed by practitioners -- and use it to deem a particular usage "correct" and whatever people usually say "incorrect". Sometimes this takes. Early 20th-century sources call the Australian marsupial that looks and acts like European and American bears a "koala bear", even mentioning that it's a marsupial, without the now obligatory "but it's not really a bear". Since it's not a member of Ursidae, though, we now claim it's not "really" a bear and people know they're supposed to say "koala". Sometimes it doesn't take, as with eclipses here.
The one that fascinates me is "tidal wave". Tides have been called tides in English since Chaucer's time, at least. Not until Newton, hundreds of years later, did it become known that the (usually) daily rise and fall of the tide is due to gravitational gradients. And yet today it's held that it's only "correct" to use the term "tide" if the cause is gravitational. Never mind that, for example, the BBC used "tidal wave" in reports of the 1998 disaster in Papua New Guinea, in a 2000 report on the danger of a tidal wave from the Canary Islands and in initial reports of the Boxing Day disaster (I can't find the smoking gun on that one, but here's then-chancellor Gordon Brown calling it that soon afterwards). Never mind that atmospheric scientists use "tide" to refer to a thermally-driven pressure change analogous to the daily tides, or any of a vast supply of other evidence. If it's not gravitationally induced, it's not "tidal" and that's the irrefutable scientific truth. Reporting on the 2004 tragedy etched "tsunami" into all of our minds so strongly that "tidal wave" is now "wrong", and the switch was flipped remarkably quickly. I'd say it took a few weeks, maybe less. So it goes. --Dmh (talk) 06:40, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Further ideas[edit]

I saw this page on the "request for feedback" page. Here's a couple of ideas:

  • The use of jovian eclipses to find the longtitude were confusing. Do the eclipse happen at different times depending on the position of the observer or is it merely a way to synchronize ones clock with greenwich?
    • The local time varies depending on longitude. By knowing the time the event occurs locally and the time the event is expected to occur in Greenwich, you can compute the difference in longitude. (1 hour = 15°.)—RJH (talk) 17:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  • The article mentions eclipsing binary stars, but not the eclipse of a planet in front of a star. The Transit of Venus in front of the sun was used to find the distance between the earth and the sun, while the slight dimming of a star as a large planet passes infront of it has been used to hunt for extrasolar planets.
    —Preceding unsigned comment added by EverGreg (talkcontribs)
    • The question is whether this article is solely about eclipses, or should it also include transits? Perhaps we should consider merging the transit article into this page, since they are so closely related. Alternatively, perhaps a summary section should be added about transits? If so, then what about occultations?
      Thank you.—RJH (talk) 17:47, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Neither the solar eclipse not lunar eclipse articles seem to cover "Cultural impacts" to any great degree. Should they be discussed here?—RJH (talk) 17:53, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

im confused[edit]

this made me really confussled . . . .(confused!) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Transit vs eclipse[edit]

In regards to Phobos, are insignificant transits really eclipses?? Do we call it a partial eclipse even though the shadow of Phobos (umbra) does not fully cover the Sun from any part of the surface of Mars? Is this that like being partially dead? -- Kheider (talk) 16:11, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Transit of Phobos from Mars says yes. NJGW (talk) 16:39, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Does it? That article seems to weasel around the issue. It always refers to the term "transit" and only once uses the word "eclipse": The event could also be referred to as a partial occultation (or, popularly but inaccurately, a partial eclipse) of the Sun by Phobos. -- Kheider (talk) 16:57, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
NASA even has planetary alignments listed as eclipses, which don't even cast a shadow on the earth. They say, "The transit or passage of a planet across the disk of the Sun may be thought of as a special kind of eclipse." If there's a source that says authoritatively this is wrong, that's OK. I was just reverting an IP that didn't use an edit summary. NJGW (talk) 17:10, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

1. Looking at your NASA reference I see Solar and Lunar eclipses and then transits by Mercury and Venus. Does the first reference list any planetary alignments as eclipses? Your second reference does weakly call them eclipses.
2. When I first noticed that edit by IP I was tempted to revert it myself. But then I started wondering what is an eclipse? Of course that IP has deleted other images... -- Kheider (talk) 17:31, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

The first ref is the "NASA ECLIPSE WEB SITE" (their caps). It lists transits, so I assume they mean they are eclipses. I'm inclined to let it go as it seems to not be a very strictly defined definition. Maybe the language could be tightened up here to say as much though. NJGW (talk) 17:52, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you. It is a grey area. I am inclined to think calling antumbra transits as eclipses is a dumbed down cultural thing. Kheider (talk) 18:02, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I have similar concerns, but I think such information is useful in terms of its contrast with an eclipse. Technically there is also a fine line between a total eclipse and an occultation. Where do we draw the line on when to include information on transits and occultations?—RJH (talk) 19:45, 4 March 2009 (UTC) and if you want to know how long it last then go to eclipse
See my comments in a previous section. Some eclipses are also occultations. It's not a dumbed down cultural thing to call a solar eclipse an eclipse. Astronomers call them eclipses too. There doesn't seem to be a crisp "official" criterion for how big a passing body as to appear before it's eclipsing and not just transiting. Transits of Phobos appear to be in the gray area. Transits of Deimos look to be firmly in the "transit" category, transits of Venus even more so.
In regard to the original questions, a partial eclipse of the sun is still called that regardless of whether there is a total eclipse visible anywhere. There are at least two ways for there not to be: The eclipse is central and annular, or it's not central (there are some corner cases, but never mind) --Dmh (talk) 22:59, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Where to put material on Syzygy/Eclipse/Occultation/Transit[edit]

In rooting out the "eclipses aren't really eclipses" material, I ended up putting the main argument in Occultation under the section "Occultations, Transits an Eclipses", mainly because there was already a section started. It could just as well go in either of the other two. it would be nice to have it separate, but it doesn't seem worthy of an article of its own. Nonetheless, it's probably worth mentioning the three together, along with Syzygy. --Dmh (talk) 07:38, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Eclipse mythology.[edit]

I was just thinking there s[h]ould be a section on folklore, superstitions and mythologies based on eclipses. such as beliefs of eclipses being omens or that a giant snake is trying to swallow the sun. Bloodkith (talk) 14:29, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

To a certain extent, this has been done by User:Lboegen. There is an obvious danger that the article will get very long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

1223 B.C.[edit]

The clay tablet, said to be Syrian, was found in modern Syria but was in the Ugaritic language, not Assyrian, Syriac or modern Syrian Arabic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:17, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Source? --TimL (talk) 20:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
A Google search will produce many. See — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:12, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I did a search and came up with nothing. The link you gave says nothing about it being written in Ugaritic. --TimL (talk) 14:22, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
This gives the consonontal text in the Ugaritic language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
As with ancient translations generally, translations of this text vary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

597 B.C.[edit]

An eclipse of Saturn and Titan on the 1st. of September in 597 B.C. is mentioned. I am not sure that it could have been seen at that time with the unaided eye. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:22, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Removed as no source given and quite dubious. Vsmith (talk) 12:46, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
A vandal in America,, on the 12/5/2012, was responsible. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 1 November 2012 (UTC)