What is a Solar Eclipse?
What is an Eclipse?
An eclipse is when one object comes between you and another object and blocks your view.
Why does a Solar Eclipse occur?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun – due to which the sun is hidden from view in certain areas of earth.
3 Types of Solar Eclipses
1. Total Eclipse
During a total eclipse, the earth, moon and sun are perfectly lined up and the sun is completely blocked from view by the moon. This eclipse can only be seen from a narrow 150 km patch on earth at any one time. Where is this area? Read on to find out!
2. Annular Eclipse
An annular eclipse is when the sun is visible as a ring of light behind the moon. It can be seen when the moon is directly in front of the sun, but is too small to be able to completely block the sun.
3. Partial Eclipse
A partial eclipse is seen when the earth, moon and sun are not precisely lined up. Hence, the moon only covers a portion of the Sun.
Are you wondering how the same occurrence can be experienced differently depending on where you are at the time?
Well, during a solar eclipse, the moon blocks the light of the sun and casts a shadow onto the surface of the earth.
The shadow cast by the Moon is divided into 3 parts, and each of these shadow areas give a different view of the eclipse.
1. The Umbra –
Umbra is the small dark patch of the moon’s shadow. This is the area where you can see the total eclipse from.
2. The Antumbra –
The antumbra is the area of shadow that is beyond the umbra. This is where you can see an annular eclipse from.
3. Penumbra –
The penumbra is the bleakest area of the moon’s shadow. You can only see a partial eclipse from an area is the penumbra.
The solar eclipse is interesting isn’t it? But you must never look at a solar eclipse directly. Always wear protective eye-wear to look at an eclipse to avoid damage from UV rays.
Did you know that the longest a solar eclipse can last is 7 and half minutes? Narrow window right? But don’t worry. There are two solar eclipses every year, so that’s plenty of opportunity we’d say!
Get more Information about Eclipses,