But little of value has recently been added to the store of knowledge
about them, even though we have made amazing technological advances and discoveries in recent decades. The Total Solar Eclipse should be reassessed in case we have missed anything of consequence. "The Black Disc of the Moon" is a great example. The Black Disc of the Moon gradually covers the Moon we are told, and indeed if we care to look we can see this for ourselves. This disc is a pitch black area, through which no light seems to be able to pass, with sharply defined edges.
During the New Moon period the Moon is not visible to us from the ground. When the Moon approaches and then passes in front of the Sun, it must be illuminated by Earthshine
. There is no reason or way it could turn black just because it is in alignment between Sun and Earth. It may be possible to photograph the Moon from the ground at New Moon with the right equipment and filters. This could also be confirmed by photography from the International Space Station, but they show no interest in doing so. The ISS has taken a photo of the 2006 T S E over Turkey. Parts of the machine are clearly visible, and appear to be in direct Sunlight
, even though the ISS is probably in the Umbra area. The ISS orbits at about 320 kilometers altitude.
During a T S E there should be little change to the Moon's luminosity. The shadow cast upon the Earth is small compared with the amount of available light reflecting surface area to keep the Moon illuminated. And of course shadows are always on the ground behind us, not in front of us. There seems no good reason why we should see a "shadow" and not the real thing.
If the Moon is well illuminated, and the Black Disc does exist, then it would be a reasonable assumption that we have allocated the wrong object and location for the Black Disk.