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Solar eclipses and the Kings of Thailand: A Curious History

#Cosmoread: Skywatchers in Southeast Asia, to show a special celestial being treated – that is a total solar eclipse in Sumatra, Borneo and other islands in the Pacific, the sky will darken. But perhaps today’s assume one of the keenest watchers Visanu Euarchukiati, a Thai historian of astronomy and science enthusiast.

This is the third time Euarchukiati solar eclipse of the sun will be seen, and his ways, between Sumatra and Borneo in the Java Sea to the Indonesian island of Belitung, built about midway to the occasion. That this assumption is correct, the early Wednesday (9 March), local time (late Tuesday, March 8, EST) that puts you in the path of the Moon’s shadow.

Euarchukiati particular interest to solar eclipse

As a historian, on Euarchukiati particular interest to solar eclipse, who has written a book and many articles and podcasts are. In April 1688, King Narai in Lopburi in central Thailand in his palace when the eclipse, and then in August 1868, when for the first time in at least twice in Thai history, the science of solar eclipse has played a curious part in the affairs of the kings King Mongkut to observe the solar eclipse in the southern village of wa Ko, led an international campaign – now known to astronomers as a phenomenon between “the King of Siam Eclipse,” the former name for Thailand.

Two kings in astronomy and solar eclipse  had very different reasons for their interest, Euarchukiati said. King Narai, who enjoyed diplomatic relations with the “Sun King,” France’s Louis XIV, “New Astronomy” by French Jesuit missionaries taught to keep time and the map was important uses. (Louis himself XIV, ordering France to be measured right after astronomical with the latest technologies, their generals complain that their astronomers had lost much of its territory.)

Beijing, the emperor of China had been transformed by the Jesuit astronomers at the observatory to visit after hearing about the French missionaries, Narai Lopburi an observatory in the castle grounds (the ruins of which can still be seen ) ordered built at the XXVIII IAU General assembly C41 / Icha science to research presented at the meeting in 2012. It was equipped with the latest European technology, and in 1685, under the guidance of French astronomers, King Narai had seen an eclipse of the moon through the telescope.

“Although she knew about her court astronomers solar eclipse, it is probably the first time he had ever seen take place, the first time that anyone ever had shown him,” Euarchukiati said.

On April 30, 1688, King Narai Lopburi their first opportunity to observe the eclipse of the sun, but it also will be the last. Time in a Thai court Observatory painting shows the king with Thai and foreign guests.

Painting eclipse projected on a screen in the style of the court crouched on his elbows and knees while watching a Thai nobleman Phetracha name suggests. Phetracha with foreigners against the king’s friendship, and fear that the king could be converted to Christianity, “in the early modern era in Southeast Asia” (Cornell University Press, 1993), according to historians, edited by Anthony Reid.

According to legend, an astrologer from heaven, a sign that he will become king Phetracha warned to watch, and it seems that he took his ascension assumed as a premonition: Just days later, he deposed Narai, crowned himself king, and either killed or ordered the foreigners from outside the state.

Nearly 150 years after the eclipse of the science of astronomy returned to Thailand, the King of Siam Mongkut (King 1956 movie “The King and I” played by the actor Yul Brynner), the. Real King Mongkut much more than the film portrays scholars, and his passion for astronomy and its dedication to Buddhism Siamese arose from his plans to reform the religious calendar, Euarchukiati said.

King Mongkut for more than 20 years before becoming a monk was, and that European astronomy and mathematics, astronomy traditional Siamese ritual that was used to fix the dates of India and plantation the study was based on astronomical texts with the state of Myanmar. After taking the throne, Mongkut old fashioned and wrong, and with the help of scientific astronomy calendar set for improvement as astronomers criticized the court.

The solar eclipse on August 18, 1868, King Mongkut Prachuap Khiri Khan, the event was thought to be the best site for scientific observations near the southern port of Ko village or foreign astronomers and important invited guests. Steamships guests and dignitaries, senior French and British diplomats about the Thai court, and a French-led team including astronomical observatory and the construction of homes for hundreds of workers and supply of capital ferried.

And his court abused her for astronomers – the exact time of the eclipse of the predications Mongkut Siamese calendar and astronomy must have proof of their efforts to improve. According to a report by a French diplomat who was present, King proudly reported that French astronomers had confirmed that his predictions were of greater accuracy than their own, says in his book historian Thongchai Winichakul, “Siam map.” But for King Mongkut, King Narai to as the first solar eclipse can also be his last; Like many who traveled to Wa Ko, Mongkut caught malaria and died a few weeks later in Bangkok.

When Euarchukiati in Thailand gives a public lecture about the history of astronomy, most people are interested in taking seen by King Mongkut, he said.

“Whenever I refer to eclipses, everyone wants to talk about or assumed at Ko,” Euarchukiati said.

1868 Eclipse -Aug.18 date celebrated as National Science Day in Thailand -is, and water in a national park and a public outreach astronomy observatory site. The observatories host events in Thailand today with the help of members of the public view the eclipse safely is one. The location, the people have a partial eclipse, where between 40 percent and 60 percent of the sunlight can be blocked.

But for many, the event will bring to mind the story of King Mongkut’s assumed: “It is part of our national psyche,” Euarchukiati said. “When we think we have eclipses of Ko or think.”