Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Image result for solar eclipse

1 May 664 AD: Solar Eclipse seen in Ireland on this day. This was probably witnessed in central and northern Ireland as it was also recorded over northern England too.

Darkness on the Kalends of May at the ninth hour
Chronicum Scotorum

By working backwards from our times to then astronomers are able to accurately fix the time on that day that the eclipse was at its deepest - 16.50 hours.

As best we can now determine it was first observed over western Ukraine, then across Poland and into Germany, crossing the North Sea it was seen over Northhumbria and then across the north of Ireland. It then made its way over the Atlantic to Newfoundland down the east coast of North America and into Mexico before petering out over the Pacific. Surely an event witnessed by millions of people at that time.

However the most reliable account of its exact date comes from the Irish Annals. They accurately recorded it as on the Kalends of May (1 May) of that year. This has been confirmed by modern scientific analysis and shows that the Annals at that time were contemporary entries made by the Monks of Ireland.

Such an event would have startled and bewildered the people of that time. To them it would have been seen as an evil portent. And indeed so it proved to be -  as late that Summer the Plague struck in Ireland and devastated the Country.

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