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Scholar examines reports of solar eclipses in the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Scholar examines reports of solar eclipses in the Middle Ages  (Read 299 times)
Sigurd Lunde
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« on: February 09, 2010, 10:20:25 pm »

Other accounts happened to be less vivid. A report from the city of Cologne in 1232 stated, "A partial eclipse of the Sun was seen after midday in the same year; (it was) not, however, very notable.”

The article mainly deals with the chances of an eclipse being observed depending on its magnitude - the full eclipse and the stronger partial ones were far more likely to be seen than minor solar eclipses.

Stephenson also notes when the chroniclers report when stars could be seen during eclipses, and finds that this usually only happened during the strongest eclipses.

He notes how one chronicler reported that in, "1310, on the last day of January, at the 8th hour at Avignon, there was an eclipse of the Sun and it was unusually eclipsed, and was remarkably scintillating. There appeared just as at nightfall a single star, according to the opinion of the crowd." Stephenson believes that the star they saw on that date was actually the planet Venus.
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