What is a solar eclipse?

A SOLAR ECLIPSE is one of those natural phenomena that fascinates people all over the world – if you are lucky enough to see it.

Here’s what you need to know about the sensational play of light and dark in the sky.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the sun and the earth


A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the sun and the earthPhoto credit: AFP

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is a stunning celestial event that occurs when the sun is obscured by the moon, casting a shadow on earth.

This partial or total blockage occurs when the sun, moon, and earth are in alignment.

When the moon comes between earth and sun during a new moon phaseit blocks the light and forms a shadow all over the world.

A partial solar eclipse will occur on April 30, 2022, beginning at 2:45 p.m. EST and will culminate at 4:41 p.m. EST.

But a partial solar eclipse will be visible from some locations in the southern hemisphere and the event can also be followed live online.

The next solar eclipse will be visible from opposite on October 25, 2022 Europenortheast Africathat middle Eastand west Asia.

It will be a partial eclipse – meaning only a small portion of the sun will become invisible as the moon passes in front of it.

The moon will partially obscure the image of the sun for viewers on earth, creating a spectacular effect for stargazer.

What types of solar eclipses are there?

There are four types of solar eclipses.

Total Solar Eclipse

This occurs when the orbital planes align and the moon appears to block the sun’s light completely.

The Sun is exactly 400 times larger than the Moon, but also 400 times farther from Earth.

These are the perfect ratios for the moon to completely eclipse the sun, provided the orientation on the earth’s surface is just right.

When the total solar eclipse occurs – when the sun is completely covered – the “corona,” which is the sun’s outer atmosphere, is revealed.

Partial Solar Eclipse

This happens when part of the sun is always visible, creating a penumbra or partial shadow.

A partial eclipse means the center of the moon’s shadow misses Earth, but still produces a spectacular effect.

The amount of sun obscured by the moon depends on where the person viewing the event is located.

This can range from a relatively small, bite-sized piece that appears to the sun and assumes a slender crescent shape.

Annular solar eclipse

Annular solar eclipses are rare and considered a variant of a partial solar eclipse.

An annular eclipse appears to be similar to a total solar eclipse in that the moon appears to pass centrally over the sun, creating a false twilight.

The event occurs when the three objects are not quite fully aligned with the moon, which is significantly smaller than the sun, and the sun is not completely covered.

When explains: “During such an eclipse, the antumbra, a theoretical continuation of the umbra, reaches the ground, and anyone in it can look up on either side of the umbra and see a ring, or”ring of fire“around the moon.

“A good analogy is to put a penny on top of a nickel, where the penny is the moon and the nickel is the sun.”

Hybrid eclipses

These are also known as annular total (“AT”) eclipses.

They occur when the moon is close to its limit for the umbra to reach the earth.

An AT eclipse usually begins as an annular eclipse, as the apex of the umbra falls just before contact with Earth; then it becomes total because the planet’s curvature reaches up and intersects the shadow apex near the middle of the path, and finally returns to annular at the end of the path.

Corresponding NBC News, of all solar eclipses, about 28 percent are total; 35 percent are partial; 32 percent are annular and only five percent are hybrids.

How often are solar eclipses?

Eclipses do not occur on every new moon.

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The frequency of a solar eclipse varies, but typically there are between two and five each year.

On average, a total solar eclipse occurs somewhere on Earth about every 18 months.

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Fry Electronics Team

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