Home > Astronomical History, Ephemeris Program, Lunar Eclipse > 10/13/2014 – Ephemeris – Columbus uses knowledge of eclipses to get supplies from the natives

10/13/2014 – Ephemeris – Columbus uses knowledge of eclipses to get supplies from the natives

October 13, 2014

Ephemeris for Columbus Day, Monday, October 13th.  The sun will rise at 7:55.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 6 minutes, setting at 7:01.   The moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:04 this evening.

On Columbus’ 4th voyage to the Caribbean he was stranded on Jamaica.  For a while the natives of the island fed Columbus and his men.  However due to the thievery of some of his crew, these people no longer trusted Columbus any refused them any more supplies.  Columbus consulted a table of eclipses and found that a lunar eclipse was to occur on February 29th that year (1504), and that at his location the moon would rise in eclipse.  He went to the leader of the people and said that they had displeased their god by refusing his crew food, and that the god would turn the Moon red in anger.  The native peoples saw the red moon rising and promptly gave Columbus the supplies he wanted.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Columbus and the eclipse

Christopher Columbus showing the lunar eclipse. From Camille Flammarion – Astronomie Populaire 1879, p231.

For more information in the Internet – search for Columbus lunar eclipse

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