Notable Solar Eclipses In History And Literature

On April 8, 2024. the path of a total solar eclipse will travel through the Greater Western New York Region. We think it will be a big deal because of the tourists it will bring (hotels have been sold out for some time now). But do you know what ancients and not-so-ancients thought about this celestial occurrence? Click the link below for this week’s episode of The State of Greater Western New York Report and find out the history of solar eclipses from both the real and imagined world.

Chris Carosa, who has taught astronomy courses at the Strasenburg Planetarium and the University of Rochester, explains the different kinds of solar eclipses and why it’s so rare that we get them. He shares how far back people began to understand and predict eclipses. In fact, he might surprise you when he reveals the real reason why ancients advanced so far in this study. You will also discover how the method of predicting eclipses can also be used to find the year past eclipses have occurred; thus, allowing us to date historic events.

In the second half of the show, Carosa delves into how people and cultures have reacted to solar eclipses.  He shows how the eclipse record matches the timing of well-known stories of the past. He then reaches into literature to see how fiction represented contemporary thoughts of eclipses.

Our guest happily answered questions from the live audience. In fact, these are probably some of the same questions you had. Would you like to be a live audience member so you can ask our guests questions? Click here to join the growing number of members who share your feelings on because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by “mansardian” courtesy of under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0

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