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2nd of 3 consecutive solar eclipses on Av 1

The moon will hide the face of the sun again this month (Wednesday, July 22, 2009) in the longest solar eclipse in this 21st century. “It will be a monster, with a totality lasting more than 6.6 minutes at maximum,” say Fred Espenak and Jay Anderson, writers for Sky & Telescope magazine.

You may recall that when we interviewed Mark Biltz for our May 2008 issue of Prophecy in the News magazine, we noted that he had discovered three solar eclipses that would occur on each of three annual calendar dates that introduce the Jewish month of Av for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010. The first eclipse occurred on August 1, 2008. The second solar eclipse is coming up this month – on July 22, 2009, and the third will happen on July 11, 2010. Though these dates vary in our Gregorian calendar, they occur on the same calendar date in the Jewish calendar – Av 1. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon travels across the face of the sun, thus blocking out its sunlight.

A “total” solar eclipse means that the moon is large enough (closer to Earth) to completely cover the surface of the sun, whereas, an “annular” solar eclipse means that the moon is farther away from Earth and appears smaller than the sun’s disk. A “partial” solar eclipse means that the moon only crosses part the sun’s surface, but does not completely block out its light. These three solar eclipses are “total” eclipses – last year in the far north, this year across the middle of Earth’s surface, and next year in the far south.

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