Eclipse question answered

Many thanks to PP reader Bruce Bladon for answering my question about the glare from the eclipsed sun.

Q: Perhaps the sun rays bend around the moon so the light that gets past the moon is somehow more concentrated than normal sunlight?

A: It is possible to bend light, but you need huge amounts of gravity.  A black hole is heavy enough to bend light, thus it is black as no light gets out of it.  Black holes weigh 5 – 40 times as much as the sun, and are only a few km across, so they are very dense.  The moon weighs 1/27millionth of the sun.    In astronomical terms, the moon is no more than a speck of dust and has no chance of bending light. The 15% of the sun visible to you was more than enough to overload your retinas.  You would never normally look at the sun, but even when 85% of it is covered, it is still enough to produce an intense glare.  That is why those funny glasses were recommended…

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