Will Sun's Eclipse Mark Greatest Crisis of the War?
[This article appeared on page 59 of the Plain Dealer, June 2, 1918.]
On June 8 there will occur one of the greatest sky phenomenon, and eclipse of the sun, total to a large portion of this country.
That this eclipse may mark the greatest crisis of the war is held to be possible. Added interest is attached to this belief in view of the fact that during the first month of the war there was a total eclipse of the sun visible over all of Europe lasting three and one-half hours.
Astronomers say the solar eclipse of June 8 will last five and one-fourth hours. In this connection it is interesting to recall an old belief that the effect of an eclipse lasts the number of years equal to the number of hours of its duration. Since the war has been going on practically as many years as was the duration in hours of the August 1914 eclipse, some claim the length of the forthcoming eclipse indicates that there will be over five more years of war.
On June 8 the moon in its travels around the earth will cast between the earth and the sun a shadow 167 miles wide, and this shadow, which will appear at a time of day when it will be visible to a large proportion of the world's population, will travel over the earth at the rate between 1,000 and 5,000 miles an hour.
The shadow will appear first at sunrise on June 9 (it will be June 8 in the United States) on the little island of Borodino off the coast of Japan. It will then sweep eastward and, having by this time attained a speed of thirty-three miles a minute, will arrive two and fifteen minutes later, or at 2:55 p.m., Pacific time, at the mouth of the Columbia River in Washington state.
For the next forty-seven minutes, people in every part of the United States — in those sections, of course, favored with clear skies — will be privileged to witness an eclipse of the sun such as has not been seen in this country in a great many years.
The last great eclipse observed in America was that of May 28, 1900, but the one this year will surpass it both in total path length and the available territory which it covers.
Caption: Map showing path of total eclipse in the United States and approximate time at which the eclipse will occur,