Solar eclipses are one of nature’s most spectacular events.
Solar eclipses: When is the next one? : Read more
"The fact that an eclipse can occur at all is a fluke of celestial mechanics and time. Since the moon formed about 4.5 billion years ago
, it has been gradually moving away from Earth (by about 1.6 inches, or 4 centimeters per year). Right now the moon is at the perfect distance to appear in our sky exactly the same size as the sun, and therefore block it out. But this is not always true."
Interesting. This indicates that through geologic time, solar eclipses were different than the present configuration and SAROS cycle. They could last longer, cover a larger area of Earth and the Moon's angular size larger too (the Moon was closer), e.g. during the Cambrian explosion or dinosaur age fossils. There is a problem. In astronomy, there is nothing that demonstrates solar eclipses like this ever took place (other than extrapolation). Assyrian and Babylonian records show solar eclipses, some documented back to about 1500 B.C., others about 900-700 B.C. or so.