Why Does A Solar Eclipse Occur?

Why Does A Solar Eclipse Occur?
Why Does A Solar Eclipse Occur?

Video: Why Does A Solar Eclipse Occur?

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Video: Solar Eclipse 101 | National Geographic 2023, January
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A solar eclipse is one of the most impressive natural phenomena that a person can observe. It is not surprising that throughout history, people have paid special attention to it. The sudden disappearance of the Sun in broad daylight caused superstitious horror, was perceived as something mystical and threatening various troubles.

Why does a solar eclipse occur?
Why does a solar eclipse occur?

For a long time, they tried to explain the nature of eclipses in the most incredible ways, ranging from the punishment of the gods for human sins and ending with a mythical monster devouring the daylight. And only thanks to the development of astronomy and other natural sciences, scientists were finally able to give an intelligible description of the mechanism of solar eclipses. The real reason for solar, as well as lunar, eclipses is that there is nothing stationary in space. Our planet revolves around the Sun, in turn, its satellite Moon revolves around the Earth. And from time to time situations arise when all three celestial bodies are on the same line. Moreover, the Moon at this time is between the Earth and the Sun, obscuring it completely or partially. In other words, a solar eclipse is nothing more than the shadow of the Moon falling on the surface of the Earth. Since the Moon is very small compared to the size of the Sun and Earth, its shadow occupies only about 200 km in diameter. This means that a solar eclipse can be observed not everywhere, but only in a rather narrow strip on the path of the lunar shadow. Astronomers distinguish between total and partial solar eclipses. It depends on the conditions of visibility from the Earth. If the observer is in a lunar shadow strip about 270 km wide, then he will be able to see how the Sun completely disappears, turning into a small black circle surrounded by a luminous shell of irregular shape. This radiant circle around the darkened sun is called the solar corona. During a total eclipse, even in the midst of the day, darkness sets in on the earth, the air temperature drops slightly, and the stars become visible. However, the total phase of a solar eclipse does not last long, and literally in a few minutes everything around it returns to its original state. A partial eclipse can be observed if you are close to the lunar shadow strip. In this case, from the Earth, it seems that the Moon does not pass exactly in the center of the solar disk, but only touches its edge. At the same time, the sky darkens much weaker, the stars are also not visible. Since a partial eclipse can be observed at a distance of even up to 2 thousand kilometers from the lunar shadow strip (total eclipse zone), the chances of seeing this natural phenomenon are much higher.

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