Monday, June 22, 2020

Black Eclipse

From SyFy Wire:
There had been several previous theories about the darkening of 1110, but the team realized that volcanic eruptions were behind this event after going through geological evidence and eyewitness accounts from that time period. It was most likely brought on by a veil of ash belched out by several volcanoes that lost their temper from 1108-1110. Though accounts told of multiple dark lunar eclipses, during which the Moon turned a reddish hue, this “black eclipse” stood out. During a lunar eclipse, sunlight headed towards Earth is absorbed and scattered, with mostly the orange to red part of the light spectrum making it through the atmosphere and then being refracted onto the Moon. What doesn't usually happen is the absence of light. 
The team scoured over 130 sources from the 12th century for accounts of the event, from England to France all the way to Japan. One of the longest and most detailed accounts comes from the Anglo-Saxon Peterborough Chronicle. It recalls“the moon shining bright in the evening, and afterwards by little and little its light diminished, so that, as soon as night came, it was so completely extinguished withal, that neither light, nor orb, nor anything at all of it was seen. And so it continued nearly until day, and then appeared shining full and bright.” 
Clouds can be ruled out, because whoever wrote that also observed that the sky remained clear, with stars shining brightly throughout the cosmos. More writngs from Japan supported these findings. The eruption of Mount Asama in 1108 was almost definitely one of the culprits, with an account known as the Chūyūki diary describing a fiery inferno that was followed by dying crops and inevitable famine. This was one bad omen that actually came to pass. A Roman account from 1109 also mentioned famine that “decimated human beings everywhere.” (Read more.)

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