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Total Solar Eclipse

An eclipse is generally defined as an astronomical event in which a celestial body moves into the shadow of another. Within a stellar system, three objects within the same gravitational system will align on a straight plane, so that one of the objects will obscure the view of another. Eclipses can occur on many planets. In regards to the earth, an eclipse occurs when the moon, sun and earth are in line with one another. Two general types of eclipses are the solar eclipse and the lunar eclipse. These forms can be broken down further into four categories: total, partial, hybrid, and annular. The word ‘eclipse’ comes from the Greek word ékleipsis, or ekleíp(ein), which means to leave out, forsake, fail to appear.[1] [2]

In their book and companion video The Privileged Planet, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards use the solar eclipse and the important discoveries made during these events to illustrate an argument for design. The distance of the moon from the Earth is but one of many aspects that are not only virtually perfect for life, but also provide a unique opportunity for scientific discovery. It would appear that the Earth was created in such a way wherein intelligent life could explore the cosmos.


Main Article: Solar eclipse
Diagram of the components of a shadow during eclipse (umbra, penumbra and antumbra) in a two-body system.

Solar eclipses are events occurring because the new moon passes between the sun and the earth. This happens during midday and usually makes the sun look like a ring of light in a darkened sky.[1] A solar eclipse can only occur when the moon is in the new moon phase when the moon’s shadow falls across the earth. At that time, a portion of the sun will be covered by the moon. Since the moon goes into its ‘new’ phase every twenty-nine and a half days, it would make sense that we see an eclipse every month; but this is not the case. The moon’s orbit is tilted five degrees to earth’s orbit, thus the shadow often passes over the earth. Even so, we still experience one or two eclipses a year. The moon has three types of shadows, which each produce a unique solar eclipse (see image at right). The inner shadow called the umbra gives us the Total Solar Eclipses. The eclipse will be visible from the region within the shadow. The penumbral shadow is a faint outer shadow that allows us to have Partial Solar Eclipses. The antumbra shadow is too small to eclipse the entire body and produces an Annular Eclipse.[3]

Total Solar Eclipse

When the umbral shadow of the moon falls over the earth, a Total Solar Eclipse can be observed. The umbral shadow follows a path called the Path of Totality. At 10,000 miles long and around 100 miles wide, it covers less than 1% of earth's entire surface area. To see the Total Eclipse, you must be within this path. It can fall on any part of the earth; even the North and South Pole will be able to observe an eclipse. However, since eclipses are only visible from this narrow path, you would not see an eclipse from the same place for an average of 375 years. It is very rare to see an eclipse twice from any one place.[3]

As the solar eclipse begins, there is almost nothing to hint at its approach. But in the minutes before it occurs, darkness falls very rapidly. As the moon begins its passage across the face of the sun, a small mark that looks like a bite was taken out of the sun can be seen on the western edge. Any little bits of light striking a surface will be shaped like a crescent moon as the sun disappears. Shadow bands also occur. As the sun becomes nothing but a tiny sliver of light in the sky, narrow, wavy lines can be seen rippling across surfaces. This is best seen on plain colored floors or a wall. This phenomenon happens because the sun’s light is being warped as it passes through abnormalities in the atmosphere.

Baily's Beads
As the moon finally eclipses the sun, pinpoints of light may appear to ring the outer edges of the dark disk for about fifteen seconds. These blots of light are known as Baily’s Beads, named for Francis Baily who first noticed them in the eighteenth century. The “beads” of light are simply the last rays of light seeping through the craters on the edge of the moon. A Diamond Ring effects happens just after the Baily’s Beads disappear and leave only a single point of light atop the moon’s silhouette. Once the last bit of light disappears, totality begins. The sky becomes very dark, and only the horizon is still lit up. Strange effects are caused by the distant light; it casts a reddish glow and creates odd shadows. This darkness resembles the night so closely that plants and animals will react as if it were. Birds will stop singing, bees become disoriented and flowers that blossom in the day will close their petals. The temperature will even drop as if it were night. Since the brilliant light of the sun has been blocked out, stars previously outshone are now visible. Other planets will become easier to see as well. Solar eclipses might also reveal a small comet on its path by the sun. Once totality ends, the effects will reverse until the sun is once more visible and daylight has returned.[4]
Partial Solar Eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse

When the penumbra of the moon will fall on the earth, it creates a partial solar eclipse. The umbra will pass completely over or under the earth so that only partial phases can be seen.[4]

Annular Solar Eclipse

Annular Solar Eclipse

The moon can be too small to cover the sun’s entire face. This is due to the moon’s orbit around earth. The moon’s orbit is not actually round – it is elliptical. Because of this, the orbit’s diameter varies from 221,000 miles to 252,000 miles. It also makes the apparent size of the moon vary in the same magnitude. The moon may appear larger than the sun – when it is on the near side of its orbit, or smaller – during the time spent on the far side of the orbit. When it is on the far side, the moon’s shadow is not large enough to reach earth. However, the antumbral shadow is. The antumbral shadow’s path is called the Path of Annularity. The annular eclipse can only be viewed from within this path; it will appear as a ring of light around the moon. Annularity will last for around six minutes though it can go on for twice as long. The corona will not be visible as in a total eclipse. These eclipses are very dangerous to look out without proper protection.[4]

Hybrid Solar Eclipse

Under unusual circumstances, another type of eclipse has been seen. Sometimes, a total eclipse will suddenly turn annular, or the reverse will happen, at some point during the progression. This happens because the earth’s curvature will bring different phases of the eclipse into the umbral and antumbral shadows.[3] [5]

Evidence of Design

Color Overlay of the Sun's Corona

While the sun is about 400 times larger than the moon, the moon is also approximately 400 times closer to the earth, so that both objects appear to have almost identical sizes. In addition to this provided spectacularly beautiful and awe- inspiring experiences, eclipses also offer chances to study astronomical phenomenon. For example, stars whose light was previously obliterated by the sun’s light are now readily visible. This fact led to oservations that helped to confirm the theory of general relativity.[6] During the solar eclipse, as the light passed close to the large mass the light would deflect due to the gravitational force exerted. [6] It is because of bending of space that the stars that are normally on the edge of the sun seem to appear closer to the sun during an eclipse. This first true test of general relativity showed scientists their first real look at stars near the edge of the sun. Because of the sun's powerful light rays, these stars' brightness is usually overpowered by the sun's and thus is undetectable at any other time. The information gathered from Einstein's research proved true as the stars appeared out of place just like he had so precisely predicted. [7] Since this experiment several others have been conducted during eclipses, all of which come up with approximately the same results. [6]

In addition, during totality the chromosphere of the sun is observable. The chromosphere is a cool, obscure layer that lies just above the photosphere. The photosphere creates all of the energy that we get from the sun. The photospheric light is too strong compared to the chromosphere, preventing us from viewing the chromosphere. During an eclipse, however, the photosphere is blocked out. The chromosphere is then studied in the few seconds of totality when revealed as a flash spectrum that only appears around the beginning and end of totality. Above the chromosphere lies another region typically hard to observe – the corona. This layer extends into space for a few solar diameters. It appears as a pearly white layer when it can be observed during totality, with magnetic field lines, and is around one to two million K°. It is still a mystery how this temperature remains so high. One theory claims it is because of the magnetic field lines that lace the corona. The size of the corona fluctuates from sun spot minimum to sun spot maximum. By observing the corona, clues can be found about the intricate magnetic interactions happening on the sun. During total solar eclipses, we can also measure the relative sizes of our sun and moon. We can determine the rate of the earth’s rotation and by how much it is slowing by looking at the locations of eclipses over the years. [8][6]

In their book and companion video The Privileged Planet, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards use the solar eclipse and the important discoveries made during these events to illustrate an argument for design. The distance of the moon from the Earth is but one of many aspects that are not only virtually perfect for life, but also provide a unique opportunity for scientific discovery. It would appear that the Earth was created in such a way wherein intelligent life could explore the cosmos. [9]


Main Article: Lunar eclipse

In a Lunar Eclipse, the moon falls into the earth’s shadow, gradually fading from view. These eclipses occur during the night, during specific full moons. Full moons last from sunset to sunrise. This is possible because the moon is exactly opposite of the sun. This is very important regarding eclipses. The moon will then appear either dark, or a deep copper-red color. Just like solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are not seen every month become of the angles of the moon’s orbit. However, a lunar eclipse will occur anywhere from two to four times every year. Only people on the “night” side of the earth can observer the eclipse.[1][3]

Total Lunar Eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse

The moon moves completely into earth’s umbral shadow. These are the most brilliant eclipses and the easiest to spot. It will start off like a penumbral eclipse, progressing to a partial, then total, and then goes in reverse. The penumbral phase is difficult to see without telescopes, but the others phases are visible quite easily. The moon becomes a deep red or copper color during totality (see Blood Moon). This color appears because the earth blocks the sun’s light. Light can still reach the moon indirectly while it is under the earth’s shadow. But this light must pass through the earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere filters out most of the blue colored light; it leaves only the reds and oranges. This remaining light is much dimmer than pure white light. Our atmosphere also bends the light so that a little of it can hit and light up the moon. The color depends heavily on the amounts of dust or clouds in our atmosphere. After a volcanic eruption, the color would be quite dark, but it usually varies from browns and red to vibrant oranges and yellows. If there was no atmosphere, the moon would be completely black during an eclipse. Astronauts in space would see the sun blocked out by the earth if they were on the moon. Total eclipses make up around thirty-five percent of all lunar eclipses.[3]

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Part of the moon passes through the earth’s penumbral shadow. These eclipses are easy to see and able to be viewed without eye protection. Partial eclipses make up about thirty percent of all lunar eclipses.[3]

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

The moon will travel through the earth’s penumbral shadow. These eclipses however, are hard to spot as they are very faint, so they are typically only of academic interest. Thirty-five percent of all lunar eclipses are penumbral.[3]

Other Eclipses

To have an eclipse, the planet must have at least one moon. This makes eclipses on Mercury and Venus impossible, but they are possible on other planets. Mars’ moons are so small that only partial eclipses are possible. If you were on one of the moons, it would look like Mars is eclipsing the sun; during certain times of the year, this will happen every day. Every one of the Gas Giants experience eclipses. They have large moons, and the sun seems small due to the distance between the planet and sun. Jupiter, the largest planet, experiences the most eclipses since its moons are on the same plane as the sun. Only the four Galilean moons produce total eclipses - these moons have an eclipse once per orbit. Saturn’s moons can observe the sun being eclipsed by Saturn’s rings. Beyond Saturn, the eclipses would probably be very unimpressive as the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona appear small. The satellites of Neptune and Uranus all produce total eclipses. Overall, eclipses on other planets are not nearly as spectacular. [10][6]

Biblical synchrony

Eclipses have been recorded in the Bible, so we can compare those dates to dates of known eclipses to prove that the Bible’s chronology was entirely accurate. The moon is drifting away from the earth at around four centimeters a year. If this had been occurring for billions of years, it is very unlikely that anyone would have ever observed an eclipse.[11][12]

The Bible records that the whole Earth was cloaked in darkness in the hours around the death of Christ Matthew 27:45 . Many have speculated that this was simply an eclipse. However, the Crucifixion was on the Day of Passover, which coincides with a full Moon[13]. This precludes the possibility of an eclipse being a simple explanation for the darkness.

Blood Moon

Main Article: Blood Moon

The "blood moon" is a descriptive name given to a total lunar eclipse because it turns a coppery-red color when it passes behind the Earth. As the shadow of the Earth falls on the Full Moon, the dramatic "curve" of the Earth's shadow starts to cover it. When it is completely inside the shadow, a startling effect happens. The moon "lights up" red in color and remains for a while until the process starts to reverse. The effect is caused by the low-frequency light from the Sun bending around the Earth to gently illuminate the Moon. As low-frequency light is red in color, the Moon will appear red.

The "blood" in the nickname is taken from Revelation 6:12 "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;" Many end-times "doomsday" proponents have capitalized on the blood moon events, claiming that they are harbingers of doom or heralds of dramatic events in the affairs of men. This escalates even further when more than one blood moon appears in year, or like 2014 when many of them appear.

Affecting the Affairs of Men

Some have taken the blood moon years (years when many blood moons appear) and compiled major world events during those years in an attempt to make a case for major events happening in blood-moon years. Others have associated these "events" as important only to the nation of Israel. For example in 2014 Vladimir Putin imposed a registration on all Jews similar to what Hitler did in Nazi Germany. The Blood Moon advocates would claim that this is only happening because of the Blood Moon, or that the Blood Moon is heralding this.

However, if we look at the years when Blood Moons did not occur, just as many if not more major earth events happened in those years as well. There seems to be no shortage of persecution and mayhem inflicted on the nation of Israel and Jews worldwide, with or without a Blood Moon. In fact, it is (to a certain extent) insulting to the Jewish community for the Blood Moon advocates to profit from the ongoing persecution of Jews in this manner.

In short, there is no intersection between the blood moon event and the affairs of men. The blood moon does not even qualify as a Biblical "sign". Like astrology, is simply a sounding board for humans to make a profit from the ignorance of others.

Moreover, even in terms of astrology, where people are purportedly born in a timeframe when certain planets or stars are aligned a certain way, now we know that the constellations in the heavens are groups of stars with a superficial pattern but otherwise are nowhere near one another in space. A "larger" star may be very close where a "smaller" star may be a physically larger star that's much farther away. Attempting to align them as affecting the affairs of men is the foundation of astrology.

In keeping with this concept, the red color of the Moon is only visible to a relatively small number of people at a time. Lunar eclipses are fickle that way. Astronomers will tell us when the next eclipse will be "visible in North America" because the eclipse only lasts from start to finish for a matter of hours. If the people watching it are not on the night-time side of the Earth and in the right geographic location during this window of time, they will never know it happened at all. For example, if the Moon is positioned such that only the Southern Hemisphere can view it, the Northern populations of the earth are out of luck.

What does this say of the blood moon being a harbinger or a herald? This is frankly no different than astrology, where proponents will warn that the position or appearance of celestial bodies affect the affairs of men.

Moon "as" Blood

Anytime Scripture is using symbolic rather than literal forms, it will leverage the words "like" and "as". Thus in Revelation 6:12 "..and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;"

  • In the Song of Solomon, the female lover is likened to the moon and an army with banners (Song of Solomon 6:10 ) "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? "
  • In the Psalms we read that the sun is like a bridegroom (Psalm 19:4-5) "Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race."
  • In Revelation we read that Christ (the Bridegroom) arrives on Earth with the believers in his wake, in the form of an army (Revelation 19:11-14) "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."

In the verses above, The Moon is analogous to the Bride, the Church. The Sun is analogous to the Bridegroom, or Christ.

If we read the context of Revelation 6, the church is being slain for their witness. The influence of the church as a body and Christ in general is so "dark" that the church body is being hunted down and killed. The Sun is black is a reference to the falling away of the influence of the church. The moon as blood is a reference to the slaughter of the church.

In conclusion, the "moon becoming blood" is a symbolic reference for the slaughter of the church, not a literal reference for the color of a celestial body. That the moon becomes a red color is a celestial reminder of the "general revelation" of the creation. Other reminders in this same regard are as follows:

  • the Moon reflects the light of the Sun (with no light of its own) just as the church reflects the light of Christ
  • the Moon is earthbound but not part of the earth, just as believers are earthbound no longer citizens of the earthly kingdoms
  • the Moon is lifeless and only has significance and usefulness for Earth when associated with the light of the Sun, just as believers have no spiritual illuminating power of their own, but are conduits of God's light through God's word
  • the Sun sets "blood red" in the Western sky, a picture of the Crucifixion
  • the Sun rises "blood red" in the Eastern sky, a picture of both the Rapture (as lightning from the East - Matthew 24:27 ) and the Second Coming (vesture dipped in blood - Revelation 19:13)
  • the Moon follows the Sun across the sky, just as the believers follow Christ
  • the world turns in a direction against its motion around the Sun, "the world turns against the Sun" has both celestial and spiritual meaning.
  • the Moon is gradually receding from the earth's gravitational influence, just as believers gradually recede from the world's influence
  • the Moon has gravitational influence on the earth's surface, just as the believers have influence on the world's spiritual and moral surface
  • the Moon becoming "as blood" is symbolic of the slaughter of the church (Psalm 44:22, Romans 8:36) the church is counted "as sheep for the slaughter"
  • the Sun becoming "black" (Revelation 6:12) is symbolic of the church losing influence on the Earth. This is significant since it is a post-Rapture condition after the Bride and Holy Spirit's influence is removed from the Earth (2 Thessalonians 2:7)

Some believe that the "gospel in the stars" is a reality understood by all humans. Certainly all humans understand their place as a created being (Romans 1:20-22) but the specific revelation of the Gospel unto salvation requires a preacher to explain it (Romans 10:13-17) (1 Corinthians 1:21-23).

Signs in the Heavens

The term "sign" in Scripture is reserved for an event that is reasonably beyond the realm of natural possibility. However, the sign is reserved as a witness to unbelievers, not to believers. In every case of a "sign" in the Old or New Testament, it is in the context of unbelief. In many cases, it is a sign to unbelievers in terms of sealing their unbelief rather than converting it.

Jesus said that signs are for the wicked (Matthew 16:4) and that anyone who seeks after a sign is behaving wickedly. It is troubling therefore that many movements and church systems throughout the world are centered upon actively seeking signs from God.

Concerning the last days, various signs in the heavens were prophesied by the Old and New Testament. The "stars" in these cases are interchangeable in meaning with the "angels" falling from heaven.

  • Genesis 1:14 - a primary purpose of stars is for "signs" in the heavens
  • Luke 21:11 - great signs from the heavens
  • Revelation 6:13 - stars fall from heaven like figs from a tree
  • Matthew 24:29 - stars fall from heaven, powers of heaven are shaken
  • Acts 2:19 - wonders in heaven
  • Revelation 13:13 - fire from heaven (the second Beast)

One of the most prominently misunderstood "signs" is the sign of tongues as described in 1 Corinthians 14:22 - "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe."

Many churches who practice tongues directly focus on it as a sign to believers-only. In fact, many of them have set up significant doctrinal infrastructure around the "tongues" event as a major transition in the believer's life, where those who have not experienced it are somehow lacking. Many of these churches take this effect much further, describing formal "circles" of transition for various spiritual events in a believer's life. These are no different than what Satanic cults practice in two major areas, one in demonic ecstatic speech and one in circles or levels of Luciferian initiation. Various internet sites discuss these topics deeply. It is inappropriate to direct a believer to one of these sites directly. For a person's own study, "ecstatic speech" and "luciferian initiation" are adequate search terms.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 All About Eclipses by TechMediaNetwork
  2. Eclipse by
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Solar Eclipses for Beginners by Fred Espenak, MrEclipse
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Effects During a Total Solar Eclipse Earth View Inc., Accessed May 2, 2010.
  5. The sun: our special star by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation 22(1):27–31, December 1999.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The Angular Size of the Moon and Other Planetary Satellites: An Argument For Design by Danny R. Faulkner. CRSQ Volume 35(1) June 1998
  7. Weird Physics By Danny Faulkner. Answers Vol 3(1), December 2007.
  8. The Intricate Beauty of the Solar Corona : Big Pic Ian O'Neill, Discovery News, Copyright © 2010 Discovery Communications, LLC
  9. Our Privileged Planet by Eduardo Llull, March 8, 2004
  10. Curious About Astronomy? by Matija Cuk, January 2003
  11. The Moon: A Faithful Witness in the Sky Donald B. DeYoung, Ph.D., Impact, Feb 1, 1979
  12. The sun: our special star by Jonathan Sarfati, Creation 22(1):27–31, December 1999.

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