WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE
This is a Solar Eclipse A solar eclipse is a natural event that takes place on Earth when the Moon moves in its orbit between Earth and the Sun (this is also known as an occultation). It happens at New Moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction with each other. If the Moon was only slightly closer to Earth, and orbited in the same plane and its orbit was circular, we would see eclipses each month. The lunar orbit is elliptical and tilted with respect to Earth’s orbit, so we can only see up to 5 eclipses per year. Depending on the geometry of the Sun, Moon and Earth, the Sun can be totally blocked, or it can be partially blocked. This is called a Total Solar Eclipse.
During an eclipse, the Moon’s shadow (which is divided into two parts: the dark umbra and the lighter penumbra) moves across Earth’s surface.
Facts About Solar Eclipses
Depending on the geometry of the Sun, Moon, and Earth, there can be between 2 and 5 solar eclipses each year.
Totality occurs when the Moon completely obscures Sun so only the solar corona is showing.
A total solar eclipse can happen once every 1-2 years. This makes them very rare events.s.
The longest a total solar eclipse can last is 7.5 minutes.
The width of the path of totality is usually about 160 km across and can sweep across an area of Earth’s surface about 10,000 miles long.
Almost identical eclipses occur after 18 years and 11 days. This period of 223 synodic months is called a saros.
This is a Lunar Eclipse. As the full moon shines in the night sky tonight (Sept. 27), it will pass through Earth's shadow in a total lunar eclipse. During the 21st century, there are 85 total lunar eclipses; a specific geographical location on the surface of the Earth will be able to see an average 40 to 45 total lunar eclipses or about one about every 2.3 years. Contrast this to a total eclipse of the sun, which, as seen from a specific geographic location occurs on an average of once every 375 years.Interestingly, infrared images of the eclipsed moon have revealed literally hundreds of "hot spots" as well as large areas on the lunar surface that were warmer than their surroundings. Scans of some prominent craters, such as Tycho, seem to suggest a heat-release pattern caused principally by stored solar heat rather than heat from the moon’s interior, while other craters, like Gassendi seem to show the sort of thermal behavior that one would expect of an internal heat source. Although this phenomenon has been studied for over 50 years, and several theories have been put forth to explain it nobody has determined a definitive solution as to why such hot spots" exist when the moon is completely immersed in the Earth's dark shadow.