Sunday 31 May 2020

The Moon and Christopher Columbus

No matter when or where one observers a lunar eclipse, it looks like this.  And it seemed obvious to those who thought about it that the cause was the Moon moving into the Earth's shadow

(On May 21st I wrote about solar eclipses)

And since the 3rd century it was known that the Earth was round. Eratosthenes showed how big the Earth was and lunar eclipses confirmed this idea. Consider that only a round Earth will always cast a round shadow.

So in 1492 Christopher Columbus knew how big the Earth was and how far West he had sailed, and that he had failed to reach India. So what did he do? Got a good press agent and sold a story of a short way to India, to gold. He knew he had not reached India and the Indigenous have suffered ever since.

There will be more eclipses in the near future, a couple of total lunar eclipses and then whether I am ready or not a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024

If you click on show eclipses 2020 to 2029 you will get the dates of all the eclipses and can decide whether you are on holidays to see an eclipse or not!


PS If you read the article about Christopher Columbus, you will learn that he had sailed up and down the Atlantic and almost certainly talked with fishermen. He "knew" what he was doing.

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