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Historical and social aspects of solar eclipse occurrences


K. Tennakone

55, Amberville Road, North Andover, MA 01845, US
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The eclipses of the sun and moon are generally considered a part of astronomy irrelevant to other affairs of the society. The study reported here explores the contrary, showing that, eclipses of the sun have had a significant impact on society in terms of associated superstitions and counter arguments of rationality, regional conflicts, decision making by rulers, advancement of science and scientific politics. The history and social implications of eclipse prediction and eclipse expeditions are discussed highlighting situations relevant to Sri Lanka. Solar eclipse events, particularly important to Sri Lankan history, are examined in comparison with theoretically calculated dates of occurrence given in the NASA World Atlas of Eclipses. Results provide new insights into some historical events, especially significant in the context of Sri Lanka. Their chronology and possible interpretations are discussed. The information derived would be useful to historians for further analysis.

How to Cite: Tennakone, K., 2018. Historical and social aspects of solar eclipse occurrences. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 41(1), pp.25–37. DOI:
Published on 28 Jun 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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