Friday, March 23, 2007

142)Magnificent images of the partial solar eclipse during the Spring equinox and Norouz.

Recently I blogged about the total lunar(moon) eclipse by the earth and how we were able to learn about two very important properties of light, namely, its wave-like ability to bend(aka refraction) and its particle-like ability to be scattered(like billiard balls) by molecules of air and dust in our atmosphere.

Now we see the opposite(to a small extent) happening, ie, a partial eclipse of the sun by the moon. This is is all happening at the same time as the spring or vernal equinox and it is fitting that this first picture by NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website was taken yesterday by an imaginative Iranian astronomer(Babak Tafreshi) against the backdrop of the expansive Touran Wildlife Reserve in Northeastern Iran. It shows a decent-sized chunk of the sun covered(eclipsed) by the Moon in a stunning sunrise during the Persian New Year festival of Norouz or Navroz on the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere:

On March 19th 2007, the same partial solar eclipse was seen imposingly over Goa, India, the home of symmetric palm trees, pristine white sand beaches, spicy vindaloo curries and Ayurvedic massage therapists to die for:

This final picture shows a blue crescent Moon and is another example of the ability of light to be scattered by molecules in our atmosphere. In this picture both light from the Sun and light from the Moon are deflected by atmospheric molecules to give this composite picture of the Moon:

Knowledge about how our Universe operates is a key part of the link between science and religion as my two signature posts from our 49th and 48th Imams below clearly reveal. The Universe is seen as one component of the structure of Truth and acquiring knowledge about what it contains and how it operates can set one on a cascadingly increasing and deepening path leading to more profound truths.


Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4.
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3