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Ancient History

Five Facts About Lunar Eclipses, Ahead of Saturday’s Blood Moon Total Eclipse

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In light of the total lunar eclipse on Saturday April 4, please enjoy these five facts about lunar eclipses!

1. Lunar Eclipses Happen When the Moon is Full

Just as solar eclipses always happen at the new moon, lunar eclipses always happen at the full moon. During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its shadow (called the umbra). This can only happen during a full moon because the Earth, Sun and Moon must be aligned exactly (also known as in syzygy, the coolest word ever!)

Lunar-Eclipse-Geometry

Saturday morning’s lunar eclipse will be visible in the Americas and Asia starting at 3:16AM PT/ 6:16AM ET, with totality happening at 4:58AM PT. Those living east of the Mississippi river will only see a partial eclipse because it will be interrupted by sunlight, whereas those living west of the Mississippi will see the total eclipse (weather conditions permitting).

 If you don’t live in a part of the world where the eclipse is visible, you can always tune in to the Slooh observatory’s Breakfast on the Moon Show!

2. While The Term  “Blood Moon” is New to Astronomy, Nearly All Total Lunar Eclipses Appear Some Shade of Red

 The full moon almost always appears a coplunar-eclipse-december-2010-nasa-keithburnspery shade of red during a total lunar eclipse because of the sunlight that is filtered and refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere. (The only time it wouldn’t look red is when pronounced volcanic activity might make the moon’s face appear more brownish or gray in color.)

During a lunar eclipse, Earth’s shadow is visible creeping across the moon’s face, and this shadow will grow until it completely covers the moon. Then at totality, when the moon is fully covered by the Earth’s shadow, the blood red tinge will appear. This short NASA video does a phenomenal job describing why the moon turns red during an eclipse.

According to the astronomy experts at Earth Sky. org  the term “Blood Moon” is new to astronomy per say, and actually comes from biblical prophecy, specifically, Christian Pastor John Hagee’s 2013 book, Four Blood Moons

imagesWhat makes Saturday’s blood moon so significant from a religious prophecy perspective is that it is part of a rare series of four full lunar eclipses each spaced out six months apart, known as a lunar tetradall falling on Jewish holidays!

Given that biblical prophecy is very far from my area of expertise, if you want to know more, Earth Sky does a good job with a shorter summery or go here for a more in-depth look at the biblical prophecy and decide for yourself.

3. Lunar Eclipses Last Much Longer than Solar Eclipses.. Although Saturday’s is the Shortest This Century!

Lunar eclipses can often last hours, while solar eclipses usually only last a few short minutes. During some lunar eclipses, totality (where the moon is completely covered by Earth’s shadow) can last up to an hour. However, Saturday’s lunar eclipse is the shortest of the entire century according to NASA, with totality lasting only 4 minutes and 43 seconds!

images-2This is because the moon is skimming the outskirts of the Earth’s shadow, instead of passing centrally through it.

Make sure to be outside no later than 4:58 AM PT to see it!

4. It is Unclear if Lunar Eclipses Influence People’s Feelings and Behavior

All the talk of biblical prophecy aside, in many cultures the belief exists that full moons and lunar eclipses have some kind of impact of human feelings and behavior. For example, in ancient cultures, it was strongly believed that the lunar cycle impacted women’s hormones and fertility.

Given that full moons do impact the tides, and the human body is at least 70% water, maybe it makes sense that lunar eclipses could have some impact on women’s menstrual cycles or on the body’s circadian rhythm.

And yet, the scientific evidence has been relatively inconclusive. However, as I mention in this article, from a psychological perspective, the belief that a lunar eclipse may impact your behavior might actually create this reality. Thanks to a social psychological phenomenon known as ‘Self Fulfilling Prophecy’, making a statement like “the lunar eclipse means I have the opportunity for new beginnings” can put you in a state of mind where you become more open and more likely to allow those new beginnings into your life.

5. Astrologically, Lunar Eclipses Are Believed to be Auspicious Times for Growth, Release and New Beginnings

In the astrological world, lunar eclipses are usually associated with releasing what no longer serves you to create new beginnings and spur your personal growth. However, the exact changes that are stimulated will depend quite a lot on the astrological signs that the sun and the moon fall into during the eclipse.

For example, on Saturday, with the Sun in Aries and the moon in Libra, these signs symbolize relationships more than any other signs in the zodiac! So, this eclipse is all about forming new, aligned relationships, releasing relationships that do not serve you, and nurturing the relationships that will continue to remain in your life. Conflict resolution and communication re-boots are huge themes during this eclipse.

My advice is to never forget that the most important relationship you have is the one with YOURSELF and that you must also nurture and put love into this relationship! Just imagine what it would be like to be your own cheerleader, and you gave support and love yourself in the same way you do to your friends and loved ones. NOW is that time for you to love yourself unconditionally and release any self-loathing or self-doubt you are still carrying.

If you are looking for more on the astrology of this eclipse, check out this absolutely fantastic write-up by astrologer Salvador Russo on Starseed Astrology.

Blessings and Love!

Cover Image from Pachamama.org

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Kelly Neff is a renowned psychologist, author, founder of The Lucid Planet and the host of the nationally syndicated new talk radio show, Lucid Planet Radio, airing Wednesday afternoons at 5pm ET.  She has reached millions of people with her articles on psychology, transformation, and wellness, which have been featured on websites like The Mind Unleashed, Mind Body Green, My Tiny Secrets, and now, The Lucid Planet. Before she became a full-time author, Dr. Neff spent seven years as a psychology professor where she helped thousands of students learn about health, relationships, love and sexuality, and co-authored the groundbreaking manual in her field, Teaching Psychology Online. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Neff is an avid participant in the visionary art, music and culture scene in her home state of Colorado and beyond. You might find her traveling the globe to give workshops, speeches and do research at transformational festivals. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Light and Love!

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Ancient History

6 Year Old Finds Fossil In Family Garden That May be 488 Million Years Old

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Children have a natural fascination with rocks, with many of us having spent some days as children standing awe-struck at our museums or science centers looking at dazzling arrays of stones, or learning about the different types that can be found out our local beaches, parks, or hiking trails.

However, none of us managed to make the sort of discovery that one young boy in the U.K. did.

Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, found a fossil in his garden that dates back millions of years.

Sid found the fossil in his backyard garden in the town of Walsall using a simple fossil-hunting kit he received as a gift, reports the BBC.

His father Vish Singh was then able to identify the fossil as a horn corral that dates back 251 to 488 million years with the help of a Facebook fossil group.

“I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn, and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral,” Sid explained.

“I was really excited about what it really was.”

His father Vish added:

“We were surprised he found something so odd-shaped in the soil… he found a horn coral, and some smaller pieces next to it, then the next day he went digging again and found a congealed block of sand.

“In that there were loads of little molluscs and sea shells, and something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it’s quite a prehistoric thing.”

The father believes that the distinctive markings on the fossil make it a Rugosa coral, meaning it could be up to 488 million years old.

“The period that they existed from was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic Era,” Vish said.

“England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well… that’s quite significant expanse of time.”

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Ancient History

Researchers Find 50,000-Year-Old Frozen Body of Extinct Woolly Rhino in Siberia

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Researchers in Siberia have stumbled upon the 50,000 year-old remains of a rare woolly rhinoceros that was trapped in permafrost.

The remains of the woolly rhino were excavated from the Abyisky district of the Sakha Republic. The rhino was first discovered by a local in Siberia named Alexei Savin, Business Insider reported.

Savvin stumbled upon the remarkable find walking near the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia, Siberia last August.

It’s worth noting that this woolly rhino was found close to the site where a previous baby woolly rhino named Sasha was discovered back in the year 2014. Woolly Rhinos were once believed to have been prevalent in Europe, Russia and northern Asia thousands upon thousands of years ago until they ended up extinct.

Paleontologist Albert Protopopov of the Academy of Sciences of the Sakha Republic unveiled that the baby woolly rhino would have been approximately three to four years old when it died presumably from drowning.

The only other woolly rhino thus far that has been discovered in these regions — Sasha — was dated to be from around 34,000 years ago. However, Protopopov suggests that the newly discovered body could be anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 years old.

However, despite the body being there for so long according to Protopopov “among other things, part of the internal organs are preserved, which in the future will make it possible to study in more detail how the species ate and lived.”

Protopopov further added, “Earlier, not even the bone remains of individuals of this age were found, not to mention the preserved carcasses of animals. As a rule, these were either cubs or adults.”

A fellow paleontologist Valery Plotnikov from the Academy of Sciences further adds, “We have learned that woolly rhinoceroses were covered in very thick hair. Previously, we could judge this only from rock paintings discovered in France. Now, judging by the thick coat with the undercoat, we can conclude that the rhinoceroses were fully adapted to the cold climate very much from a young age.”

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Ancient History

Isaac Newton’s Secret “Burnt” Notes Included Theory That Great Pyramids Predicted Apocalypse

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Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most famous scientists of recorded history, left behind a large body of work that is still vital in our understanding of the world today. However, as with many public intellectuals, he also had plenty of work that was never shared with the public, even after his death.

Now, for the first time ever, some of these unpublished notes are being auctioned off, and these notes contain some of his most wild theories, and includes his thoughts on the occult, alchemy, and biblical apocalypse theory. Newton was known to dabble in the more esoteric realms of study, but very little written evidence remains about his specific thoughts on mystical topics.

Some of the remaining manuscript notes are currently being auctioned by Sotheby’s. The notes have been through a lot, and are obviously burned. The auctioneers claim that the notes were damaged in a fire that is believed to have been started by a candle that was accidentally toppled by Newton’s dog, Diamond.

According to the auction listing, “These notes are part of Newton’s astonishingly complex web of interlinking studies – natural philosophy, alchemy, theology – only parts of which he ever believed were appropriate for publication. It is not surprising that he did not publish on alchemy, since secrecy was a widely-held tenet of alchemical research, and Newton’s theological beliefs, if made public, would have cost him (at least) his career.”

The notes currently have a leading bid of £280,000, the equivalent of about $375,000.

In the notes, Newton speaks on some far-out topics that would surprise modern thinkers. For example, Newton’s notes include a theory that ancient Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza predicted the apocalypse. While it is unclear what logic he used to get to his conclusion, the theory began with his study of how the pyramids were designed according to an ancient Egyptian unit of measurement called the royal cubit.

While studying the pyramids and the cubit, Newton believed he developed an insight into sacred geometry, which somehow aligned with the apocalypse predictions in the bible.

“He was trying to find proof for his theory of gravitation, but in addition the ancient Egyptians were thought to have held the secrets of alchemy that have since been lost. Today, these seem disparate areas of study – but they didn’t seem that way to Newton in the 17th century,” Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscript specialist, told The Guardian.

“It’s a wonderful confluence of bringing together Newton and these great objects from classical antiquity which have fascinated people for thousands of years. The papers take you remarkably quickly straight to the heart of a number of the deepest questions Newton was investigating,” Heaton added.

Interest in alchemy and mysticism was not unusual for serious scholars at the time, in fact, it was recognized as a legitimate field of scientific study.

“The idea of science being an alternative to religion is a modern set of thoughts. Newton would not have believed that his scientific work could undermine religious belief. He was not trying to disprove Christianity – this is a man who spent a long time trying to establish the likely time period for the biblical apocalypse. That’s why he was so interested in the pyramids,” Heaton said.

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