Wednesday, July 22, 2009

TSE 22nd July 2009

Up until the eve of the Total Solar Eclipse (TSE), I wasn't really psyched about it.

I'd researched this damned eclipse 4 months ago...for a project I am yet to be paid for and perhaps may never be paid for. Nothing worth celebrating here. Even, the horoscopes sounded ominous. I found that in the aftermath of the event, I am to lose (what little) money I have left. I will struggle with finding employment (big surprise) and as a special icing on the cake, I will become fat(ter). There was also some talk about being struck down by deadly water-borne diseases. Yeh me.

So, even as I set my alarm clock for 5 am with a resolve to witness the 'Greatest Celestial Event of the 21st century', I remained only mildly enthused. I stayed awake & sleepless for hours and hours, thinking about my life and the direction it seemed to be taking, the things that I desperately wanted and the life lessons I urgently needed to learn (letting go).

At some point around 1am, my thoughts turned to the eclipse itself. I tried to recall the exact science of it as I had learned in JV Narlikar's massive library in Pune:
The solar system spans roughly a 100,000 AU (that's more football fields than my brain can comprehend). The Sun rotates at about 4500 miles/hour - that's fast. The Earth revolves around it at 107,000 km/hr. The Moon revolves around the earth at varying speeds and takes approximately 27 days to take one round.

For a Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) to occur, not only do these speeding objects have to perfectly align in a linear plane, they must also be tipped at the perfect angle on their axis AND be at the perfect distance from each other for the moon's shadow to perfectly cover the sun.
That's a huge motherfucking amount of perfection to take care of before you can have one successful TSE.
And then, it hit me. While the next one will only occur in 2132, the fact is - in the lifespan of the solar system, this seemingly impossible moment isn't as rare as one might think.
I lay there in bed, grinning, repeating the same thing again and again until I fell asleep - it happens, it happens, it happens.

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