Solar eclipse image taken aboard Gemini 12.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA
Can an Eclipse Change Gravity? (Updated!)
News story originally written on September 20, 1999
For over 40 years, scientists have wondered if a solar eclipse can change Earth's gravity. A scientist named Maurice Allais thinks that during an eclipse, Earth's gravity is greater.
Allais used a Foucault pendulum to test his theory. This special pendulum swings in the same direction, even though the Earth turns below it. Scientists tested the theory during the last solar eclipse of the millennium. Not all of the data has been studied, but some scientists say they saw a change in the pendulum's swing during the eclipse.
It will take months before the results will be out. The pendulums were video taped during the event. Once they are analyzed, the scientists in charge of the experiment will reveal the results.
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