As a kid, I remember partial solar eclipses. My mom would bring me out to the backyard, warn me not to look at the sun, and we would use a pinhole projector to “watch” the solar eclipse safely. As a kid, this was only mildly interesting. I didn’t really appreciate what was happening. As an adult, total eclipses are awesome and mind-boggling.
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 rotate and line up perfectly on the same plane. Other planet’s moons rotate many different directions.
- The earth has to be in the right position to view the eclipse.
- There must to be intelligent beings there to view it, understand it, and stand in awe of it.
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 eclipses would be impossible, or at best, just partial eclipses. At it stands, everything is perfect for total solar eclipses on earth. This is not the case on any other planet. Mercury and Venus don’t have a moon. Mars’ moons are too small for a total eclipse. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune do get total solar eclipses, but they are gas planets, so you obviously can’t stand on the planet to view them. Pluto does get total solar eclipses, but that moon always faces the same side of Pluto. Not that any of these planets can support life anyway.
The odds of all these things happening perfectly is astronomical. Not to mention, there need 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 amazing visual proof of His power, intelligence, 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 just one more way we can clearly see God’s “eternal power and divine nature” (Romans 1:20).