There are at least 2 solar eclipses in every calendar year. In 2008, the first solar eclipse fell on February 7 and the second one will occur tomorrow, on August 1. Then why do we think of solar eclipses as being so rare? It’s because each eclipse can be seen from a narrow band across Earth’s surface – the pathway of the moon’s shadow as it sweeps across Earth during eclipse time.And the path of the moon's shadow for tomorrow, August 1, 2008, as described here, will start in northern Canada, extend across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia and Mongolia, before ending in northern China around sunset time at the city of Hsi-An, Shaan-Hsi province. It does not extend as far as to the Olympic site, and we will not able to see it in the U.S. area either.
The site of Boycott 2008 Communist Olympics has a good discussion about the phenomenon that will spook the superstitious because it was once seen by China's emperors as a portent of disaster. So the commie government is trying hard to ignore the happening and play down any association between the eclipse and the Olympics a week later. After the Tibet massacre, the Szuchuan earthquake, and the various unrest around the country, understandably the commies are really scared stiff. At any case let's hope that tomorrow is just another ordinary day!
To remind you what a solar eclipse is, here's an illustration from U. Tennessee, Knoxville Astrophysics site given here:
And here's the last total solar eclipse that was observed in Turkey on March 29, 2006 as shown in Science News online today:
Solar eclipse in Chinese is called "日蝕" and total solar eclipse is "日全蝕." The ancient Chinese used to descriptively call it "天狗食日" which literally translates as "a heavenly dog ate the sun." The earliest known observation of solar eclipse was in China around 2128 BC during the earliest Hsia dynasty (2205-1600 BC).