Baby born around time of eclipse, named Annular

Annular solar eclipse

In the spring of 1836, a baby boy was born to John and Deborah Taylor in the English city of Salford.

When he was christened at Manchester Cathedral on June 2, he was named John Annular Taylor.

Why the middle name “Annular”?

My guess is that he was born on, or just after, May 15 — the day England witnessed an annular solar eclipse:

Annular solar eclipse over England on May 15, 1836

An eclipse is called annular (meaning “ring-shaped”) if it occurs while the moon is at its farthest distance from Earth (and therefore appears smaller, from our perspective). The result? A ring-of-fire effect when the moon passes before the sun.

The next annular eclipse (visible from the U.S.) will be happening in a few days, on October 14 — don’t forget to check it out!

P.S. If you’re having a solar eclipse baby and “Annular” just isn’t your style, check out this list of baby names inspired by solar eclipses.


Images: Adapted from Solar annular eclipse of January 15, 2010 in Jinan, China by A013231 under CC BY-SA 3.0 / Eclipse map courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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