- An eclipse occurs when the Sun, the Earth and the Moon are in a straight line in the plane of ecliptic.
- When the Earth obstructs the rays of the Sun from reaching the face of the Moon, the Moon gets eclipsed.
- When the Moon hides the face of the Sun, then it is an eclipse of the Sun.
- At any time the Sun is able to light only half of the Earth’s surface which is facing the Sun.
- The other half, which is turned away from the Sun, is in darkness.
- The plane of the ecliptic is the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, and it is where the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon must align for a solar eclipse to occur.
- This is because the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is tilted about 5 degrees to the plane of the ecliptic, so most of the time the Moon passes above or below the plane of the ecliptic and does not block the Sun’s light.
- Typically, there are 2 to 5 solar eclipses per year, with some years having none.
- An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is positioned further from the Earth, resulting in a “ring of fire” effect, with the Sun appearing as a bright ring around the Moon.
Type of Solar Eclipses
- The type of eclipse that occurs depends on the position of the observer in relation to these three shadows.
- In a total eclipse, the observer is located in the umbra, the darkest part of the shadow.
- In a partial eclipse, the observer is located in the penumbra, the lighter part of the shadow where only a portion of the light source is blocked.
- An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is farther away from the Earth and appears smaller, creating a ring of light around the Moon.
- A hybrid eclipse, also known as an annular-total eclipse, is a rare type of eclipse that appears as a total eclipse to observers in some areas and as an annular eclipse to observers in other areas
This occurs when the Sun is completely obscured from view. Instead, the Sun’s intense light is replaced by the dark silhouette of the Moon that is outlined by the Sun’s corona (the super-heated plasma extending out from the Sun).
During an annular eclipse, the Moon is too far away from Earth to completely block the Sun, and so a ring of sunlight remains visible around the edges of the Moon. This creates the appearance of a “ring of fire” around the Moon. Annular eclipses are less dramatic than total eclipses because the Sun is still visible, but they are still a rare and interesting celestial event to observe.
During a partial eclipse, the Sun and Moon are not exactly aligned, and only a part of the Sun’s disk is obscured by the Moon.
A hybrid eclipse is also known as an annular-total eclipse. This type of eclipse occurs when the eclipse begins as an annular eclipse, where the moon appears smaller than the sun and a ring of sunlight is visible around the moon, and then transitions into a total eclipse, where the moon completely blocks the sun’s disk.
- A lunar eclipse will occur, only when the Sun, the Earth and the Moon are in a straight line, and The Earth lies between the Sun and the Moon.
- This is possible on a Full Moon day.
- But a lunar eclipse does not occur on every Full Moon day, as these three bodies have to be in the plane of Ecliptic.
There are 3 kinds of lunar eclipses:
(a) If the Moon is exactly in the plane of the ecliptic, a total solar eclipse will occur.
(b) If the Moon is close to the plane of the ecliptic, a partial solar eclipse will occur.
(c) If the Moon is far above or far below the plane of the ecliptic, no eclipse will occur.
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