According to the BBC, on October 3rd this year there will be an annular eclipse viewable from Europe, Africa and southern Asia. What is an annular eclipse? In an annular eclipse, the Moon is further away from the Sun than normal, thus the Moon's shadow will not be large enough to cover the Sun. The Sun appears as a ring with a dark centre. Fred Espenak at NASA has a detailed review of the event. The greatest eclipse will occur over Chad at 10:31:42 UT (GMT). You can figure out how the event will look from different locations using the solarscope.
Eschatalogically interestingly, it falls on the eve of Rosh Hashana. Originally known as the Day of Blowing or Yom Teruah, it is referenced in Numbers 29:1 and Leviticus 23:24. Endtime enthusiasts are often quick to point out that Yom Teruah is "the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in which it begins." According to bibleprophecy.org,
Yom Teruah is the only festival that no man knows the day or the hour in which it begins. This is due to the fact that it begins on the new moon. The new moon was sanctified when two witnesses see the new moon and attest to it before the Sanhedrin in the Temple. This sanctification could happen during either of two days, depending on when the witnesses come. Since no one knew when the witnesses would come, no one knew when the Feast of Trumpets would start. On the 30th of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses. They then sanctified the new moon.Posted by torque at March 18, 2005 10:12 AM | TrackBack