An eclipse will take place on Friday 8th, which as many of you know is the day of the Pope's funeral. Total eclipses are often seen as signs of great
events, such droughts or the downfall of kings.
PARIS (AFP) - Those who say eclipses herald history-shaping events will find support for their superstition when, on Friday, the Sun will be briefly
plunged into darkness on the day of Pope John Paul II's funeral.
Astronomers, though, say the eclipse, while of a rare and intriguing type, was calculated long ago and is simply part of a ballet in celestial physics
between the Sun, Earth and Moon.
It will be visible on Friday along an arc ranging from the southwestern Pacific to South America, at a time it will already be night in Rome.
Friday's event will lasting three hours and 24 minutes, according to Espenak's calculations. It begins at 1854 GMT southeast of New Zealand, then
races eastwards on a line north of the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and finally Venezuela, where there will be a 33-second annular
eclipse at sunset at 2218.
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As Homer said in the Odessy: "The Sun has perished out of heaven and an evil mist hovers over all."
Fitting words to describe the death of John Paul II, and no matter what religious beliefs you may have, even if none at all, it is a symbolic sign to
mourn his death.
If you are a skeptic, let me introduce you to another eclipse that happened during another famous event:
Two eclipses occurred near Palestine in AD29 and AD33 which, for some Christians, give astronomical proof to the biblical account that the sky
darkened at Jesus' death on the cross.
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Boost for superstitious: Sun to darken on day of pope's funeral