Anomalies of Solar eclipse

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Main Question or Discussion Point

There are many speculations according to which there are certain changes taking place in the earth's gravitational field during a total solar eclipse(or partial) like strange movements in a oscillating pendulum before and after the eclipse(as observed by many scientists).

How factual are these observations?
 

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  • #2
mgb_phys
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How factual are these observations?
Zero

As a tip, if the observations are published in a real journal (Nature, Astronomy and Astrophysics etc) or are reported in something like Scientific American or the BBC then they are probably worth considering.

If they are only reported on a web site also devoted to seeing Elvis, Bigfoot videos and how 911 was a conspiracy by the Amish - then you can probably be a bit suspicous
 
  • #3
Chronos
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Old wives tale, no gravitationally peculiar effects occur during an eclipse. The moon passes very near a solar eclipse position every month. Why would it be special when it actually passes in front of the sun? Superstitious nonsense.
 
  • #4
I was in Bangalore during the annular solar eclipse which occurred on Jan 15 this year.
Around 85% of the sun appeared to be covered by the moon at that place,when i was seeing the eclipse at the peak hour around 1:30 pm through my protective goggles,at some point, i looked at sun without them for around 2 seconds(i am not joking!).I had heard about "eclipse blindness", i was worried about it throughout the day but nothing really happened to my eyes.

I don't know the exact reason why and how we can be blinded by directly viewing the eclipse or whether or not it actually blinds us.How long will it take for the symptoms to appear if it really happens?
 
  • #5
Jonathan Scott
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There are many speculations according to which there are certain changes taking place in the earth's gravitational field during a total solar eclipse(or partial) like strange movements in a oscillating pendulum before and after the eclipse(as observed by many scientists).

How factual are these observations?
There have been no confirmed observations of anything odd gravitationally. However, there have been observations of weak atmospheric pressure waves apparently caused by eclipses, presumably as a result of rapid cooling within the area in shadow, and similar effects caused by sudden cooling could also affect other objects including buildings, so it is possible that small disturbances might be observed during an eclipse which are simply due to unusually rapid changes in temperature.
 
  • #6
Chronos
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Let's not forget about fear and ignorance. An eclipse is a horrifying event for an illiterate villager in a backwater country.
 
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Is any real science conducted related to an eclipse? I know that nearly a century ago the effects of General Relativity were demonstrated (falsely) during an eclipse, but are these now more media events than anything else?
 
  • #8
mgb_phys
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Is any real science conducted related to an eclipse?
Probably in biology more than astronomy.

I know that nearly a century ago the effects of General Relativity were demonstrated (falsely) during an eclipse
It wasn't falsified - the eclipse experiments pretty much confirmed GR. Although not quite as definitively as recorded at the time - some of the measurements were a bit marginal.
 

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