THE 2017 ECLIPSE OF THE SUN HAS PEOPLE EXCITED

August 9, 2017

SOLAR ECLIPSE 2017: A REMINDER OF THE AWESOMENESS OF GOD’S CREATION

       The 2017 solar eclipse – which promises to be one of the longest in recent history - has attracted the attention of North Americans who are happy to be distracted from the present political milieu. They are also happy to have found a neutral, but intriguing natural phenomenon that unites them. States in the central part of the United States are in full swing - taking commercial advantage of the event. Souvenirs have been developed and are being sold everywhere. Its next to impossible to book a hotel in some towns around the day of the eclipse – August 21st. Tours have been arranged and parties organized.

       A helpful and very user-friendly resource is the NASA website all about the eclipse itself. It offers all practical information and then some. If you want the straightforward basics, then go right to the site’s ECLIPSE 101.

       The internet is also filling with various discussions and videos as to what this major eclipse may signify for mankind and the world. Some speculate that it may a sign of the end or of some impending tribulation. Inevitably the idea of an ‘eclipse’ takes many back to famous prophecies of St. Malachy about the Popes. According to this prediction that dates back to the year 1139, one of the last Popes is associated with “an eclipse of the sun”. Others suggest a connection with an August 1931 apparition to Lucy in Spain that was a follow-up to the Fatima Apparitions which centenary is being commemorated this year. Some of the other internet proposals are obviously concocted by people who have an unusual imagination and enjoy putting together a sensational story seemingly for entertainment purposes.

       What can we get from this year’s eclipse experience? Perhaps at least what the Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, the new director at the Vatican Observatory, suggests - the eclipse will offer “millions of people the opportunity to step back from everyday concerns and appreciate how the universe works”. He also explains that, “if you already believe that this universe is God’s creation, then looking at an event like this with the eyes of faith, you can’t help but be filled with awe and gratitude. Awe because God made things so marvelously, and gratitude because he gave us the ability to appreciate them.”

The eclipse period to watch within Winnipeg (and probably similar throughout the Archeparchy) are the following starting-point, highpoint and eventual endpoint….

(but be sure to protect your eyes!)

Winnipeg:                                                            date                              time              

Start of partial eclipse (C1) : 

2017/08/21

11:40:16.8

45.5°

139.3°

Maximum eclipse : 

2017/08/21

12:57:28.2

51.2°

166.6°

End of partial eclipse (C4) : 

2017/08/21

14:15:30.8

50.8°

197.1°

(Times were originally given according to GMT - they are now given above in "Winnipeg Time" (i.e. CST).) 


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