|Eclipse over Cairns, Queensland, Australia 13th Nov, 2012|
"The ancients viewed the universe as a grand symbolic myth, full of hidden significance.
And some of the strange coincidences about the sun and the moon that Peter has been telling me about recently make me inclined to take this seriously.
For example, the sun is 400 times the size of the moon.
And yet, because the sun is 400 times farther away from Earth than the moon, they appear the same size.
The odds against such an occurrence must be extremely high.
And there's a further "coincidence" whose odds must also be astronomical ... literally.
The moon occasionally passes in front of the sun because the orbit of the moon coincides with the path of the sun across the sky.
And it's only because the heavenly paths of the sun and moon happen to coincide that we witness one of the most awe-inspiring cosmic events ... a total eclipse."
Yesterday ANU professor of astronomy Dr Charley Lineweaver joined ABC News Breakfast to explain exactly what Tim Freke was writing about in his book about the size coincidence.