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Total eclipse of the sun comes with a warning

A total eclipse of the sun, a phenomenon where the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, will occur today (1 August 2008).

Today Friday, August 1, 2008 the eclipse will be  visible in across a wide swath of the globe—including northeastern North America along with most of Europe and Asia. In most places people will be able to see a partial eclipse, but in Russia,  many parts of India and China, a full eclipse can be seen in the late afternoon.

Scientists value total eclipses, in part because they provide a rare glimpse of the corona, which is usually obscured by the glow of the sun, but to many peoples across Asia a total eclipse of the sun is a sign of bad things to come - in the past these events were usually linked to famine, wars and the death of kings ....

In China, it is believed the dragon swallows the sun during an eclipse. So they would beat drums to produce great noise and commotion to frighten away the dragon, so a solar eclipse is not regarded as a good sign.  This total solar eclipse visible over China and occurring a week before the Beijing Olympics is certain to cause consternation amongst the superstitious. In fact most Chinese astrologers predict some turbulence, which can affect the stock markets and perhaps spill over on to the streets. According to renowned feng shui and astrology experts in Hong Kong, the eclipse could bring some political turbulence and problems to the transport and communication networks in Beijing during the Games.

In Hong Kong prominent fortune teller and astrologer Raymond Lo, said the start date for the Olympics -- August 8, 2008 -- on the Chinese lunar calendar could trigger a water disaster, which could be reinforced by the eclipse."This is the year of the Rat, the month of the Monkey, and that is the day of the Dragon. We had the same combination of animals on the day when the tsunami struck in 2004," he added. Lillian Too points out that the Dragon, Rat and Monkey are allies and they reinforce each other. When contacted she says the allies combination is unlikely to cause any problems and is in fact a good combination and should not be related to the eclipse today.

However, although solar eclipses are rare natural phenomenons, we would like to advise everyone to avoid being out in the sun at all cost as directly seeing the sun being obscured can be very harmful and bring bad luck to those who observe the eclipse or who are exposed to the sun rays. Please wear your amulets and protection talismans for this year and do NOT download pictures of the eclipse onto your phones or computers. Symbolically these are bad images.

In any case, from a scientific view, looking directly at the eclipse can badly damage your eyes. Please therefore try to stay indoors during the late afternoon. Those going out for dinner please do so after the sun sets today...

The next solar eclipse will take place on July 22, 2009, when it will cross central India, northern Bangladesh and central China.