The Eclipse - Wonders of our Solar System

Sometimes even when its 2:00 Pm you can get pitch-black darkness in the sky, just like what you see in the night. Now you must be thinking we are joking and this can never happen as long as the sun is present in our sky. We are not saying the sun is going anywhere, but what if something comes in between the sun and earth what is going to happen then? 


This phenomenon is called eclipse, and that’s how even in the day time you can experience a night sky. This doesn’t happen as frequently as we wanted it, but when the eclipse happens, it is truly magical. Just a quick fact, the longest solar eclipse of the century occurred on July 22, but the peak darkness lasted only for about 6 minutes and 29 seconds.


Eclipse Definition

Now you have a question in mind what is an eclipse? And how does it happen on earth? See the first thing you need to know is eclipses are not restricted to earth, they occur in our solar system and the universe, but we get to see the ones that cast a shadow on the earth. When one heavenly body such as planets like mercury, venus etc. moves inside the shadow of other celestial body that’s when an eclipse happens this is your eclipse definition.

There are two types of eclipse which we can witness while we are on earth. First one is the eclipse of the sun which is called solar eclipse and the second one is the lunar eclipse which the eclipse of the moon. 


What Is Solar Eclipse?

Now coming to the solar eclipse definition, when any heavenly body such as our moon, planets like mercury, and venus blocks the light of the sun from reaching the earth. This leads to an eclipse of the sun which in other words, we call a solar eclipse. As a result, we get the shadow of the moon which is in between the sun and earth. For earth, we only have three types of solar eclipse.

The first one is the total solar eclipse where the body covers the sun completely; this kind of eclipse is hard to see as it can be seen on very small parts of the earth. People who get to see the total solar eclipse are the ones who are present at the centre of the shadow that’s been cast on earth during the eclipse. For a total eclipse to take place in the night, the sun, the moon and our earth need to be aligned in the straight line. 


The second type of eclipse that we have on earth is a partial solar eclipse. This phenomenon occurs when all three objects are not aligned in the straight line. As a result, you won’t witness complete darkness and sun will have a small amount of dark shadow on its surface. This type of eclipse happens when other planets come in between earth and the sun. 


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Last but the most fascinating one is the annular solar eclipse, and it happens when the moon is at the farthest distance from the earth and come in between earth and sun. During this time moon will look much smaller as it is not close to the earth, and when the sun comes behind, it looks like the moon is on the top of the sun. As a result, we get to see sun-coloured disk around the moon’s shadow, which makes all us awestruck by the beauty of it. When the eclipse reaches its end and the three bodies starts to break their alignment. You witness what is called Bailey’s beads, the last of the bead creates the impression of a diamond ring. 


What is a Lunar Eclipse?

Now let’s see what lunar eclipse definition is, a lunar eclipse is quite frequent as the moon revolves around earth and earth revolves around the sun. As a result, the sunlight that gets typically reflected by the moon gets blocked from by earth. Now the earth’s shadow is covering some part of the moon, and it results in lunar eclipses. 

There are two types of lunar eclipse, and the first one is complete, where we can’t see the moon in our night sky. The second one is the partial eclipse, where some part of it can be seen. When the moon and the sun are on the exact opposite sides of the earth that’s when we get to witness a total lunar eclipse.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How lunar eclipse occurs?

There are two types of lunar eclipse, and both of them occurs due to earth coming in between the sun and the moon. When the earth comes in the exact centre that when a complete lunar eclipse takes place, thus, we cannot see the moon in the night, it is also called Umbra. 


Second is the Penumbra where some part of the moon is still visible to us, a partial lunar eclipse happens twice a year but to get a complete lunar eclipse, it is quite rare. You don’t need to wear special glasses to be able to see the lunar eclipse it is safe to look at it from the naked eyes.


2. What is meant by a solar eclipse?

When the moon orbits the earth, and it comes in between earth and the sun, that’s when a solar eclipse takes place. It is not advisable to see a solar eclipse from the naked eyes as it could damage your eyes permanently. When solar eclipse takes place, the moon casts its shadow on the surface of the earth.

3. What is the meaning of eclipse?

Eclipse is a natural occurrence of astronomical bodies getting in between two other heavenly bodies and casting their shadow on the other object which is behind it. Earth has two types of eclipse, and the first one is the solar and the second one is the lunar eclipse.