Did You Know?

Total solar eclipses have inspired wonder and awe throughout history, with the first known reference to an eclipse dating back about 5,000 years. But when the moon passes between Earth and the sun and darkens skies across the United States on Aug. 21, there will be one major difference between modern-day skywatchers and ancient cultures that witnessed the same celestial phenomenon: We’ll have much less fear….

Ancient peoples depended heavily on the seasonal changes reflected in the annual movements of the sun, Krupp told Live Science. They would have seen a solar eclipse as a major disturbance of the cosmic order, at the very least, and quite possibly as the end of the world, he said.

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