Monday, February 18, 2008

Eclipse Folklore

Following up with the post from a few days ago about the impending eclipse, here is a little folklore surrounding it.

"Get ready for the eclipse that saved Columbus"
The Moon will turn an eerie shade of red for people in the western hemisphere late Wednesday and early Thursday, recreating the eclipse that saved Christopher Columbus more than five centuries ago...

And an eclipse is credited with saving the life of Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1504.

Stranded on the coast of Jamaica, the explorers were running out of food and faced with increasingly hostile local inhabitants who were refusing to provide them with any more supplies.

Columbus, looking at an astronomical almanac compiled by a German mathematician, realised that a total eclipse of the Moon would occur on February 29, 1504.

He called the native leaders and warned them if they did not cooperate, he would make the Moon disappear from the sky the following night.

The warning, of course, came true, prompting the terrified people to beg Columbus to restore the Moon -- which he did, in return for as much food as his men needed. He and the crew were rescued on June 29, 1504.

Interesting tidbit for your kid's astronomy/history notebook.

1 comment:

havoc said...

That's pretty darn cool. Thanks, Sister!