We recently experienced an astronomical wonder, in which some of us will never see again.
As the sun, moon, and earth rotate daily, we experience day and night. There are rare times in which the moon lines up in between the sun and earth perfectly to create a total eclipse of the sun, which causes total darkness in midday.
On August 21, 2017, we were fortunate enough in Richmond County to experience 97 percent of the eclipse. In the path of totality, planets can be seen. This amazing event only happens once every year or two, in which totality can only be seen in a few places on earth. On average, a total eclipse can be seen from any one spot on earth about once every 375 years, so your chance of seeing it in the same spot during a lifetime is impossible. The last time totality occurred within the United States was on Feb. 26, 1979, which was almost 40 years ago.
The sun is one hundred times bigger than earth, and the earth is four times bigger than the moon. The sun is four hundred times bigger than the moon, but the moon is four hundred times closer to earth. This means the sun and the moon appear the same size to us here on earth.
The sun is an amazing 856,000 miles wide, the earth is 7,926 miles wide, and the moon is 2,160 miles wide. Wow, we have such an awesome God who placed everything in its perfect place which functions to perfection!
The bible even starts out in the beginning with the book of Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 1, stating, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The book of Psalm, Chapter 104, verse 19, states, “The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.” I will never cease to be in awe at the wonder of God!
On the day of the eclipse, my co-workers and I were prepared to step outside and watch as we slipped on our solar safety shades. Crickets began chirping as it neared time for the moon to cover the sun, and nature prepared for night to begin. I love photography so I had my camera and tripod set up, and when the eclipse began, I started snapping away.
The full event lasted for three hours. I was super excited to be able to experience, as well as photograph, this once in a lifetime event. Long ago, they didn’t have the privilege of capturing this event on camera. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that photos could be taken. Today, not only do we have advanced cameras and telescopes, but we also have satellites that capture mind blowing photos.
For all of us that witnessed the handiwork of God in viewing this wondrous event, it is one we will never forget. I will continue to stand in awe as I daily look up into the heavens and watch all creation glorify God; from the newness of a sunrise to a vibrant sunset, to the glare of the majestic moon in the night sky, the Lord is to be praised!