Written in The Heavens: 6 Important Celestial Events You Should Know

Over the past year, there have been several celestial events that occurred. One of them is the emergence of a pink supermoon, and it was undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking sights to see. Interestingly, celestial events have been happening throughout the course of history. In this article, we’ll name six of the most beautiful, remarkable, and important celestial events in history.

There have been more interesting celestial events that occurred throughout history. However, we’re not taking away credit to the pink supermoon, as it was pretty remarkable in itself. In this article, we’ll name some of the most beautiful and important events that humankind has ever witnessed. You’ll see some of the most familiar celestial events, from the eclipse that allowed Lawrence of Arabia to defeat the Ottomans to the comet that carried William the Conqueror into victory.

Vanishing Sun

The first celestial event on our list is when the sun vanished back in 557 BC. Greek philosopher and historian Xenophon recorded the event, and you could say that the total eclipse that happened during that time helped mold history. The army of Cyrus the Younger went on an expedition to take Persia’s throne from his brother Artaxerxes. Upon their journey, they came across the deserted city of Larissa, which was near modern Iraq.

Larissa was once a city that was a well-fortified stronghold. Larissa proved to be too formidable even for a Persian army, and the Persians tried and failed subsequently. However, the heavens intervened, and Xenophon describes it as a cloud covering up the sun and hiding it from sight. The event left the Larissans unsettled that they abandoned their city. The eclipse allowed Cyrus the Younger’s army to seize Larissa, and it’s just another historical moment that the heavens deserve credit for molding.

Make Love, Not War

Who would’ve thought that a solar eclipse back in 585 BC would cause two hostile kingdoms to make love and not war? It’s one of the first examples of a celestial event’s influence in the course of history. It started when the Scythians and the ancient Iranian people’s relationship with each other turned sour.

The Scythians and the ancient Iranian people lived together, but the Scythians soon fled to the court of King Alyattes of Lydia, which is near modern Turkey. Eventually, the ruler of the ancient Iranian people, Cyaxares, waged war against the Lydians for the next six years. Throughout those years, the two kingdoms were unable to gain the upper side. However, during one battle, Herodotus records that the day suddenly turned into night, and the combatants on the battlefield were horrified.

The two kingdoms eventually gave up the fight, and they both settled for peace. The peace was then guaranteed through the marriage of King Alyattes’ daughter with Cyaxares’ son. This total solar eclipse took place on May 28, 585 BC, and it passed right across modern Turkey into Iraq. It’s safe to say that the heavens once again deserve credit for stopping two hostile kingdoms from clashing.

Fear of a Comet

You could say that Halley’s Comet is one of the most famous celestial events in history. The historical comet returns every 75 to 76 years. In 1705, astronomer Edmond Halley figured out that it was the same comet, as it had been regularly reported at the same interval. One of those instances occurred back in 1066, and it was visible for a week. People described the comet as the “long-haired star.”

At that time, “the long-haired star” wasn’t just a celestial event. It spelled bad news for Harold II, as he took it as an omen of doom. On the other hand, it was William I who treated it as a positive sign. Of course, it would be easy to treat it as a positive sign as his comment was in retrospect. More years later, William I eventually built his army, and he used the comet to boost their confidence to a certain degree.

Clues to The Gospel

An interesting celestial event in the form of an eclipse could offer clues to the exact date of Jesus’s passing. Historians believed that Jesus passed during the reign of Roman emperor Tiberius, but not much context and details come after that.

Interestingly, John the Baptist began teaching during the 15th year of Tiberius’ rule, which must be around 29 AD. At the same time, St Luke records that there was darkness all over the Earth during Jesus’ passing, lasting between six to nine hours.

The phrase “the sun was darkened” certainly sounds like an eclipse, and there was one recorded eclipse that took place on 24 November AD 29, and it passed across Iraq and Syria. It may not have been in Judaea, but it sure would have been in close proximity. We certainly have to give credit to various accounts of this celestial event coming from the bible.

An Eclipse & The Bad Luck It Brings

Humans have long blamed eclipses for various calamities. In 1133, it once again took credit for bringing a string of mishaps to 12th-century England. In 1135, Henry I passed, and it was an incredibly challenging time for England. His son William also drowned years earlier during the White Ship disaster. To add, Henry I’s first wife also passed along with his second wife, Adeliza, and she bore him no children.

The only one left was Henry’s daughter Matilda. However, Matilda would also experience bad luck, as women weren’t allowed to rule during the time. Eventually, Henry’s nephew Stephen of Blois was the one who seized the English throne. After taking rule, 19 years of civil war followed, and that period is now remembered as the Anarchy. In turn, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle blames all of these unfortunate events on the celestial event that occurred on 2 August 1135.

On 2 August 1135, the light of the day was eclipsed as Henry sailed to France. However, the Chronicle might have mixed their timeline up, as the eclipse on 2 August happened in 1133 and not in 1135. The timeline and chronology are unclear, but it doesn’t change the fact that an eclipse is once again to blame for a string of unfortunate events.

Striking from The Shadows

Humans also harnessed the power of the eclipse in battle. It was Lawrence of Arabia who used a lunar eclipse during the war with the Ottomans. The lunar eclipse certainly paved the way to victory for him and his army, as the lunar eclipse had a different potency level to its solar equivalent. Everything on the battlefield was widely visible, and the sight of a blood-red moon during the night indeed had a powerful effect.

The battle occurred in July 1917, and Lawrence of Arabia was traversing through the desert towards Aqaba, a Turkish stronghold. He had to go against two outposts first, and on 4 July, they arrived at the first outpost. His army was fearful as they believed that a full moon would compromise their chances of a night attack. However, Lawrence assured them that there should be no moon for a while.

Lawrence of Arabia takes credit for his prediction, and a lunar eclipse indeed happened on the night of July 4 and 5, 1917. The eclipse terrified the Turks, and they found themselves firing rifles to rescue the threatened outpost. The outpost eventually fell, and Lawrence and his men celebrated the victory with another attack on Aqaba a day later.