Norway and the Faroe Islands had the rare opportunity to see a total solar eclipse today. Only occurring once every several hundred years in the same location, a total solar eclipse is one of the most amazing phenomenons in the universe.
When we stop and think about it, the fact that we have solar eclipses at all is incredible. There are so many factors that must be perfectly in tune for this to happen.
- The sun has to be a certain size and distance from the earth.
- The moon has to be a certain size and distance between both the sun and the earth.
- Everything must line up perfectly during the New Moon phase.
- The sun, moon, and earth all have to rotate on the right planes.
- The earth has to be in the right position to view the eclipse.
Joe Rao from space.com explains these factors in greater detail: “The sun’s 864,000-mile diameter is fully 400 times greater than that of our puny moon, which measures just about 2,160 miles. But the moon also happens to be about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun (the ratio varies as both orbits are elliptical), and as a result, when the orbital planes intersect and the distances align favorably, the new moon can appear to completely blot out the disk of the sun” (Solar Eclipses).
Change any of these factors and only a partial solar eclipse would be possible. If things were changed more dramatically, eclipses would be totally impossible. At it stands, everything is perfect for solar eclipses. The sun is at the perfect size and distance. The moon is at the perfect size and distance. The earth is in the perfect position to see eclipses. Everything rotates on the right planes to see all of these things align.
The odds of all these things happening perfectly is astronomical. Not to mention, there needs to be people on earth, and everything that it takes to sustain life, to witness such an incredible event such as this. Sadly, scientists have chalked total solar eclipses as “accidents in nature” (ibid). When God is taken out of the picture, there really isn’t any other option available than calling things “an accident.”
Solar eclipses are no accident. They happen because God wanted to give us another visible proof of His power and magnificence. They happen to show evidence of His existence. When He created the sun, moon, and stars, He placed everything perfectly so we could watch in awe (Genesis 1:14-19). Solar eclipses are one more way we can clearly see God’s “eternal power and divine nature” (Romans 1:20).