A total eclipse is an event in which the moon and sun are in perfect alignment with a spot on Earth. This occurrence is much more rare than an annual eclipse, in which the sun leaves a halo of light around the moon. A random spot on Earth experiences a total eclipse approximately once every 400 years, explains the University of Virginia Department of Astronomy.Know More
The region in which a total eclipse can be seen is in the umbra of the moon's shadow; no light from the sun can reach this area. Because the sun and moon have the same angular size in the sky, there is only a very small region on the Earth's surface where the entire sun is covered up by the moon.
From geometrical models, the Greeks determined that the sun had to be larger than the moon with a size exactly proportional to its distance from the Earth. During a total eclipse, it is not dangerous to look at the sun at all although the phenomenon is only visible for a few minutes from any given location. During a total eclipse, planets and bright stars that are normally not visible to the human eye can be distinguished in the sky.Learn more about Astronomy
A lunar eclipse happens when Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun. During a lunar eclipse, the face of the moon appears to turn reddish as Earth occludes the sunlight that is normally hitting its surface.Full Answer >
A total solar eclipse is visible from Earth. However, the region of the Earth that is able to see a specific total eclipse is relatively small. Typically, such an eclipse's path is only several hundred kilometers wide.Full Answer >
The moon has phases with distinct appearances because it is constantly rotating around the Earth and being illuminated by the sun at different angles. The most common phases are the new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter.Full Answer >
An eclipse is caused by the movement of a moon or planet into the shadow of another. The two types of eclipses that occur on Earth (solar and lunar) involve the interplay of the intersecting rotations of Earth and the moon around the sun.Full Answer >