Well it's almost here...and the weather forecast actually looks good (fingers crossed)... so maybe we'll actually get to see ... IT. IT, being of course, the first total eclipse visible from East Tennessee in a hundred years. An event that will not be repeated here before the 22nd century. A once in a lifetime experience to not be missed.
Through a synchronistic coincidence of nature the sun is 400 times the diameter of the moon and also 400 times further away from the Earth. This results in an apparent diameter that is exactly the same and at certain points in the moon's orbit causes a total eclipse to be visible from small sections of the Earth. Next Monday is one of those times!
In ancient times people were frightened of eclipses and believed that the world was coming to an end, or a demon was eating the sun. They yelled and whooped and banged pots, anything to make noise and scare off the demon and save OUR SUN!
The ancient Hindu peoples believed that the demon Rahu stole the Amrita, or elixir of life, which granted immortality to those who drank it, and greedily gulped it down. The Sun and Moon yelled for the god Vishnu to stop him. Vishnu sprang into action, chopping off Rahu's head before the elixir could go down his throat. Rahu's body died but his head lived on, chasing angrily after the sun and moon until he eventually would catch them and swallow them for revenge. Of course they fell through his throat and reemerged into existence to continue on until caught again, and again, and again (this time over TN).
Some people will meditate or pray at this special time of spiritual joining, and some will whoop and holler on the roof of their favorite watering hole, stealing drinks of the Amrita while trying to scare away the demon and if they are successful in their noise making then the Sun and Moon will emerge intact and the Earth will survive. What better reason to celebrate?