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Prisoners of the Sun: The eclipse

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#11 · Posted: 28 Sep 2004 10:51
(or maybe there's some funfair rides near the Great Pyramid?)

Actually that wouldn't surprise me, after seeing the super giant slide down the Great Wall of China!

Yes partial eclipses happen quite often, i've seen partial eclipses, two of them. One i wouldn't have noticed if i hadn't been told.

the UK won't get another one total until after i'm dead.

The last total eclipse hit in England was in Cornwall, the path of the eclipse meant only a narrow window of the world saw the total eclipse.

Anyway my point is that one monastary would probably only see a total eclipse once in hundreds of years.

#12 · Posted: 28 Sep 2004 16:29
I saw the above mention eclipse from the highest point on the Isle of Wight. It was awe inspiring and lasted approximately 20 minutes (if less). It went dark and was very eerie. If Tintin was a convincing actor (He is a master of disguise!) it would have surely worked if the Incas were that ignorant to the Suns cycles.
Harrock n roll
#13 · Posted: 28 Sep 2004 16:48
The last total eclipse hit in England was in Cornwall

Yes, I was down in Cornwall for that in 1999, right on the path of totality. It was pretty spectacular, despite the cloud. As the eclipse moved into totalty you could feel the air grow colder.

the UK won't get another one total until after i'm dead.

The next one's in 2090 in the UK. I'm not sure how old you are now jockosjungle, but with future advances in modern medicine you might just make it ;)
#14 · Posted: 28 Sep 2004 18:47
I'd be 108!

It went cold up in Preston and we got about a half eclipse.

The next one will be 2090 as you say, but the whole nation won't get to see totality. Not sure how many years it takes for a certain place to get a total eclipse though, might probably be millenia

Harrock n roll
#15 · Posted: 29 Sep 2004 13:07
I said:
...maybe there's some funfair rides near the Great Pyramid?

I was just reading the magazine version of Le Temple Du Soleil and noticed that the Sphinx episode actually appears much earlier in the story. This frame must have been moved when the story was cut and rejigged to fit the confines of the 62 page format - hence the 'mistake'.
#16 · Posted: 9 Oct 2004 18:00
At school, they taught me everything about the incas, due to our geographical proximity. So I felt just a teeny-tiny-little-itti-bitty offended and embarrassed when the incas were portrayed as 'ignorants', since they knew more about space and stars than many other cultures...
But oh well. Maybe these incas in particular didn't inherit the knowledge about sun-cycles; they happened to lose those hyerogliphs during the moving...^^
#17 · Posted: 29 Mar 2006 21:04
Listening to the radio coverage of the eclipse today on KCRW in LA - and wouldnt you know it - the speaker refers to tintin...brings a smile to my face
#18 · Posted: 9 Apr 2006 04:04
It was certainly quite a quick eclipse, wasn't it?

According to The Star Guide by Robin Kerrod, "The longest any total eclipse can occur is theoretically about seven-and-a-half minutes. But over the next 50 years, it is predicted that the longest (in July 2009) will be 6 minutes 38 seconds. Most will be much shorter."

I had another look at the passage and noticed that just before the pyre is lit the Thompsons are near to the Sphinx in Egypt. Later, as Tintin & co. are being set free, the Thompsons appear again at a very European looking 'dodgems' (or maybe there's some funfair rides near the Great Pyramid?)

I suspect that this is an element of fantasy.
#19 · Posted: 26 Apr 2006 03:31 · Edited by: Moderator
It's pretty common though for Sun God followers to be fooled by an eclipse in a book. I believe it happened to The Secret Seven.

I know this is rather a late reply to an old post, but yes, it did. That was my exact thinking when reading "Prisoners" for the first time last night. I only ever had a few "Secret Seven" (by Enid ... Blythe? Blyton?) books, but I remember that one clearly. I wonder if Herge or Enid borrowed it from the other?

Moderator note: It's Blyton. :-)
labrador road 26
#20 · Posted: 26 Apr 2006 08:37
It is also used in Mark Twains book "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" from 1889 when the main character is about to be burned at the stake. So that might be even more of an inspiration for Hergé. The chapter is available at:
With some nice illustrations.

Surely though, shouldn't cultures connected to the sun have knowledge about ecplises in their lore. I mean if Rascar Capac sort of can use the lightning as a tool then the incas should also be aware that the moon sometimes move in front of the sun. Maybe it is because the moon doesn't shine at an eclipse which it normally does that sun followers doesn't recognise it as the moon. Makes the incas seem a bit simpleton in my point of view unfortunately.

Looking through the scene in the book made me noticed the very straight and even cut logs that make up the stake but there is not any trees in sight. The trees in the jungle seem to quite crooked and these are straight as an arrow, where did the incas get them?

Later when Tintin and Haddock are taken down to the treasure room the Thompsons suddenly appear in Antarctica. Is that because they misread the pendulum as that they were going down (south) or what?

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