1878: Earth Orbital Diagram
|Earth Orbital Diagram|
Title text: You shouldn't look directly at a partial eclipse because of the damage that can be caused by improperly aligning the solar-lunar orbital plane with the orbital bones around your eye.
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This comic is the third consecutive comic published in the week before the solar eclipse occurring on Monday, August 21, 2017 which is a total solar eclipse and visible in totality within a band across the contiguous United States from west to east. The other comics are 1876: Eclipse Searches and 1877: Eclipse Science.
The comic claims that the reason that eclipses don't happen every month is simple to understand by looking at an orbital diagram. Ironically, the cartoon has so many parts and labels which make it far more difficult to understand than is implied. Many of the terms used are also incorrect and have nothing to do with orbital mechanics.
All these labels are complicated words, some are somewhat related to orbital mechanics ("equinox", "perihelion") while some are just latin sounding nouns. Moreover, many of the labels provided are kludged, obfuscated, or simply made up. Compare/contrast with the standard Kepler Orbit diagram. Most easily recognizable are the "Dimples of Venus," referring to axis-intersection points in the diagram on Earth.
The reason why eclipses do not occur every month is because the Moon and Earth do not orbit on a single plane; the moon's orbit has an angle, or inclination of about 5.145 degrees relative to the ecliptic plane and therefore only rarely passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. This fact is evident from this diagram and is correctly labeled with the simple Greek letter "theta"; the remaining labels do not contribute to this explanation and exist only to distract or misinform the reader.
|Word used in the comics||Meaning of word used||Actual astronomical term||Meaning of actual term|
|Astral plane||A plane of existence in various esoteric theories. Also used in fictional fantasy context.|
|Declension||Inflection of nouns in a language.||Inclination||The "tilt" of an orbit|
|Hypothecate||A legal verb that means something similar to "make a mortgage"|
|Perihelix||Portmanteau of helix and perihelion||Perihelion||Lowest point in a solar orbit|
|Prolapse||A medical condition|
|Sagittal plane||Anatomical plane, dividing the body in left and right.||Orbital plane||The plane in which heavy object and orbiting object (in this case earth and sun) lie.|
|Sagittal plane||A vertical plane that divides the human body into left and right sides||Ecliptic plane||Plane in of the Earth's orbit|
|Solar plexus||Network of nerves located in the abdomen.||Sun||Star in our solar system.|
|This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.|
- [An orbital map of the Earth is shown. The Sun is in the center, the Earth is at the right bottom, and the Moon is left below the Earth.]
- Why isn't there an eclipse every month?
- This is a common question! The answer is made clear b a quick look at the Earth's orbital diagram:
- [Label Sun:]
- Solar plexus
- [Label on the Earth's plane:]
- Sagittal plane
- [Labels Earth's orbit (beginning at the Earth counter clockwise):]
- Perihelix, Declension, Obsequity, Hypothecate, Enceliopsip, Equinox (Solstice in British English)
- [Two angles in the plane are labeled as:]
- Determinant of the date of Easter, Arctangent
- [The plane of the Moon is pictured in a small angel to the Earth's plane and named Astral Plane. The angel is presented between to lines (Greek Nu or Gamma and a double Greek Chi) and named by a fictional character similar to a Greek Phi but with two vertical lines.]
- [The labels at the Moons path are:]
- Tropopause, Prolapse, Dimples of Venus, Errata.
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