Chapter 12: Solar Eclipse
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Fun fact about solar eclipses: There are about 2 solar eclipses a year, but since the area on the Earth cast into shadow by the eclipse is only about 50 miles wide, they seem quite uncommon to us. In any given location, a total eclipse happens only once every hundred years or so. In 1923, there were two solar eclipses: one on 17 March, which occurred over the southern part of the globe, and one on 10 September, which occurred over Central America and the Caribbean. Although we call them "total solar eclipses," of course it's not like someone turned off all the lights. As I experienced a few years ago in the DC area, it's more like dusk for a few short minutes. Here's a fun YouTube video of what it's like to experience a solar eclipse. Looking up when Eliza might have seen a partial solar eclipse, I found this table of eclipses. Basically, she could have seen a partial eclipse in December 1911. Um, I think. Or 2011. The chart is a little unclear.
As a separate note, as I looked up the Egyptian vulture, I discovered that Nekhbet was the Egyptian goddess designated the protector of Egypt (specifically Upper Egypt) and the pharaohs. She's a vulture goddess, and appears in tons of tombs. In iconography, Nekhbet was usually shown hovering, with her wings spread above the royal image, clutching a shen symbol (representing eternal encircling protection) in her talons. As drawn, she's either a griffon vulture or a lappet-faced vulture.