SCIENCE

People Are Seriously Freaking Out About The Eclipse, Supermoon and Equinox

03/19/2015 07:39 pm ET | Updated Mar 19, 2015

In case you haven’t heard, there will be three celestial events on Friday, March 20: the vernal equinox, a supermoon and a solar eclipse.

But not everyone’s at ease about the unusual confluence of these events -- and the solar eclipse, in particular, is generating quite a lot of buzz.

Need proof? Just look at headline from the United Kingdom's Independent: "Solar eclipse will be the beginning of the end of the world, say Christian pastors." The fact that the eclipse is happening on the vernal equinox -- the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere -- is an unmistakable sign of judgment, biblical experts told conservative site World News Daily.

Other media outlets didn't shy away from dramatic phrasing: "Will the solar eclipse create an EERIE WIND?" the Daily Mail asked.

More seriously, the Wall Street Journal reported that the sudden loss of sunlight may disrupt the flow of electricity from solar power plants in Europe and cause a string of eclipse blackouts.

But Dr. Jay M. Pasachoff, professor of astronomy at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., told The Huffington Post there's no reason to worry -- about any of it, in fact.

"Eclipses are fun to see; enjoy them," he said of the event, which will darken skies across Europe tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. UT (5:45 a.m. Eastern Time), as the moon moves between the Earth and the sun.

What's more, he said, it's not accurate to say the eclipse, supermoon and equinox are happening at the same time. After all, the spring equinox occurs at 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time. Quoting eclipse-calculation expert Jean Meeus, Pasachoff asked, "What does it mean to coincide? An hour, a day, a week? This one is 12 hours off."

The eclipse will only be visible in Europe, but other celestial enthusiasts can watch the live stream here:

Solar Eclipses Around The World
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