‘Can a total solar eclipse cause blindness?’ asks the 2021 solar eclipse. or ‘Should it be avoided by pregnant women?’ ‘Is it safe to eat, drink, cook, and go about your everyday business during the eclipse?’ Here’s what NASA scientists have to say about this year’s surya grahan, which took place on December 4th.

It’s that time of year when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, producing a shadow in some parts of our globe by blocking the sun’s light entirely or partially in the southern hemisphere, resulting in a celestial occurrence known as a solar eclipse or surya grahan. While Antarctica will be the only spot on Earth to watch a total solar eclipse on Saturday, December 4, because the sun, moon, and our planet will all be in a straight line above it, other countries in the northern hemisphere, as well as individuals in India, will be able to see it via a NASA webcast.

People in Saint Helena, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, Crozet Islands, Falkland Islands, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia, on the other hand, will see a partial solar eclipse. NASA scientists debunk eight misconceptions and facts about surya grahan ahead of the solar eclipse on December 4, which will occur before, during, and after dawn or sunset.

1. Solar eclipses six months after or on your birthday are a warning indication of imminent illness

“This is a prevalent idea among astrologers, yet once again is merely confirmed by confirmation bias,” according to NASA. There is no physical link between a total solar eclipse and your health, just as there is no link between a new moon and your health. You might detect such associations in a random sample of people from time to time, but they are outnumbered by all the other times when your health was fantastic.”

2. Total solar eclipses emit dangerous radiation that can blind people.

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“During a total solar eclipse, when the moon’s disk completely covers the sun, the bright corona emits only electromagnetic radiation, though occasionally with a greenish hue,” NASA scientists explain. For ages, scientists have examined this radiation. There is nothing in the coronal light that could transcend 150 million kilometers of space, enter our deep atmosphere, and induce blindness because it is a million times fainter than the light from the sun itself. However, if you look at the sun before totality, you’ll catch a glimpse of the brilliant solar surface, which might cause retinal damage, though the natural human inclination is to turn away fast before any serious damage occurs.”

3. Solar eclipses signal the occurrence of a rare celestial event in time and space

Solar eclipses, according to NASA, “are a re-affirmation that there is a magnificent clock-work regularity to the universe as Sir Isaac Newton admired over 300 years ago,” since they can be mathematically predicted over thousands of years.

4. You should not view an eclipse if you are pregnant because it may harm your child

“This is connected to the previously held misconception that dangerous radiations are emitted during a total solar eclipse. Although the corona’s electromagnetic radiation, which is visible as light, is totally safe, the sun emits another type of radiation that travels to Earth. Particles known as neutrinos are born deep within the solar interior, where nuclear fusion takes place to power the sun, and they zip unfettered out of the sun and into space. During the eclipse, they also pass through the solid body of the moon, and a second or so later, they reach Earth and pass through it as well! Whether the sun is above or below the horizon, millions of neutrinos bombard your body every second. The sole effect is that a few atoms in your body are transmuted into a different isotope every few minutes as a result of ingesting a neutrino. “This is a completely safe consequence that will not affect you or your developing fetus if you are pregnant,” NASA explains.

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5. Solar eclipses foreshadow important life changes and events that are going to occur

“This is a frequent interpretation seen in astrological forecasts,” according to NASA, “which are themselves based on coincidences and non-scientific ideas in how celestial occurrences control human behavior.” If the eclipse does not forecast a change in your life, it may foretell a change in the lives of your friends, according to a common criteria. This is a logically faulty application of confirmation bias in which you ignore failures and only consider successful forecasts to prove a cause-and-effect link. Eclipses are linked to future events in your life by nothing else than human psychology.”

6. During eclipses, any food cooked during the event will be poisoned

“Related to the incorrect belief of hazardous solar rays is that during a total solar eclipse, some form of radiation is produced that will harm your food,” NASA experts explain. If that were the case, the same radiations would harm the food in your refrigerator or the crops in your field. The main premise is that total solar eclipses are terrifying, and their ghostly green coronae are terrifying, so it’s natural to want to make up scary stories about them and hunt for coincidences in your surroundings. Some would claim that if someone is accidently poisoned with potato salad during an eclipse, the occurrence was caused by the eclipse itself, even if hundreds of other people at the same place were unaffected.”

7. Eclipses are signposts that something dreadful is about to happen

“A typical example of Confirmation Bias is that we tend to recall all the instances when two things happen at the same time, but forget all the times when they don’t.” Because the human brain is prone to looking for and remembering patterns that may be utilized as survival rules-of-thumb, this provides us a skewed view of causes and effects that we recall easily. Total solar eclipses are rarely documented in history, although they are more frequently recorded when they occur in conjunction with other historical events. Early Assyrian records, for example, describe an eclipse in the same section as an insurgency in the city of Ashur, today known as Qal’at Sherqat in Iraq, implying that the ancient people associated the two. In A.D. 1133, when King Henry I of England, the son of William the Conqueror, died, a total solar eclipse occurred. You can also find several situations where something excellent happened with a little effort!” NASA claims.

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8. During a total solar eclipse, the moon turns completely black

“Although it is tough to observe the New Moon and check out this concept,” NASA scientists point out, “we don’t actually have to conduct this challenging observation.” If you look closely at the first quarter moon, you’ll notice that the black lunar plain beyond the crescent is only dimly lit. This is because Earth is quite bright in the sky when viewed from the moon, and its faint light is enough to turn the lunar surface a pale milky white. This is known as earthshine, and it happens during a total solar eclipse as well. Off the path of totality, much of the Earth’s surface is in broad daylight, and the moon would be in full phase, lighting down on the lunar surface at its brightest. As a result of earthshine, the lunar surface will be weakly visible during a total solar eclipse, surrounded by the sun’s considerably brighter corona!”

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