Eclipses and the Power of Prediction

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Wanits, Lyndsey
Franek, Brycen
Stander, Edward, Dr.
The ability to predict celestial events is the lifeblood of the practicing astrologer. Of these events, Solar and Lunar Eclipses hold the most power. In 404 BC, The Athenians and Spartans were at the end of a 30-year war. The Athenians were ready to retreat when the full moon suddenly eclipsed. Soothsayers saw this as a bad omen, and asked the generals to stay put. They agreed, and shortly thereafter, the Spartans engaged them in battle and wiped them out. In 1504, Christopher Columbus and his crew would have died had he not known that a lunar eclipse was predicted to occur later that year. He claimed that the sky would rise red with wrath if he was not provided with sustenance. The blood moon did rise as predicted, saving him and his crew from starvation. Even today, being able to predict astronomical events can lead to the appearance of power on the world stage. One exceptional eclipse occurs every 5 days in a star system located 675 light years away. U Cephei, an eclipsing binary pair, varies in magnitude by three orders as a small yellow star passes in front of its much larger Blue-white companion.