Home environment Feeling irritable and on edge? Blame it on the eclipse

Feeling irritable and on edge? Blame it on the eclipse

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A historic total solar eclipse will occur on Monday and will be visible over much of North America.

A family looks through a pair of giant solar eclipse glasses at Veterans Memorial Park in Dripping Springs, Texas, United States, last week. A solar eclipse will occur on April 8, with the totality visible in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as parts of Mexico and Canada. Picture: EPA-EFE

A HISTORIC total solar eclipse will occur on Monday and will be visible over much of North America.

A solar eclipse is a rare and beautiful astronomic phenomenon which happens when the orbiting moon blocks the sun’s light, causing twilight conditions.

Solar eclipses occur only with the new moon. Because the moon’s orbit around Earth is tilted, the three bodies don’t always line up in a way that creates an eclipse.

A total solar eclipse is even more special, like the one that can be observed along a swath of land from Mexico through the US and Canada in Niagara, the St Lawrence valley, New Brunswick, Cape Breton and Newfoundland, according to The Conversation.

Mahesh Bang, the Sunday Tribune’s columnist and astrologer, said while the eclipse would not affect South Africa, it would still be a day of eclipse where the sun and the moon were together in one zodiac sign with the planet Rahu.

“It will have a psychological effect where people will be overly sensitive, anxious, irritated, on edge and emotional. People should avoid meetings and arguments on Monday.

“When the eclipse occurs it radiates harmful rays on the earth. Although it will be visible in the northern hemisphere, it is the psychological effects that will be felt here and in other parts of the world where the eclipse is not visible. After the eclipse it is only America that could experience natural disasters, or experience a small recession as their economy would be affected,” said Bang.

Witnessing a total solar eclipse can be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“The excitement around the eclipse is palpable, coming from kids to adults, locals to visitors. Niagara Falls predicts up to a million people visiting and Kingston predicts up to 500,000. This is in part because of the rarity of a total solar eclipse – they happen about 375 years apart at a given location on average, and the next one anywhere in Canada isn’t for 20 years,” reported The Conversation.

Dr Sinenhlanhla Precious Sikhosana, UKZN’s astronomy lecturer, said the total solar eclipse would be a very rare occurrence, and the last one was in 2017.

“Even then, it was only visible at different geographical locations. Note that partial solar eclipses occur more frequently,” said Sikhosana.

“The moon blocks the sun. However, unless the moon totally covered the surface of the sun, directly looking at the eclipse can cause damage to the eyes. Therefore people in these places need to use special eyewear. Animals may also behave strangely.

“It does not cause natural disasters. Economically, tourism may be boosted due to tourists travelling to the regions where the eclipse will be visible,” she said.

Sikhosana said there would be no direct impact for South Africa.

“However, it opens an opportunity for us astronomers to engage with the public on astronomical phenomena such as the solar and lunar eclipse,” she said.

Sunday Tribune

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