We have learned about Lunar Eclipse that it is because of the Earth’s shadow blocks the view of Moon. Now what is Solar Eclipse? This time the Earth is not casting its shadow on moon, but the moon gets in between the Sun and the Earth to cast its shadow on Earth.
So, a Solar Eclipse is a natural occurrence that takes place when the Moon (Earth’s only natural satellite) gets in between the Sun and the Earth. This can happen only at the phase of new moon. Like Lunar Eclipse, as we have seen, Solar Eclipse is also of three types – Total Solar Eclipse, Partial Solar Eclipse, and Annular Solar Eclipse.
Total Eclipse: When the new moon appears in between the Sun and the Earth to completely stain out the disk of the Sun, we call the Eclipse as Total Solar Eclipse. But how can a tiny moon blot the disk of sun completely? It is due to one of the many pleasant coincidences of our Universe. The Sun is approximately 400 times larger in diameter than that of our little Moon. Interestingly, the Moon is almost 400 times closer to our planet than that of the Sun. So the distance negates the size.
A Total Eclipse is the only Solar Eclipse that we can safely watch the event without any safety precautions. It will look as if the Moon covers the Sun completely with only a dark circle to view and a ghost like radiance appears around the dark circle. In the past Total Solar Eclipse was believed to be more frequent as the moon was closer to the Earth then.
Annular Eclipse: It is almost similar to the Total Eclipse, but the moon in this case is a bit farther from its usual orbit. This makes the Luna too small to cover the entire disk of the Sun. During an event of Annular Eclipse, an observer will see sun like a glowing ring with new moon eclipsing it in its center. Such an event can last from around 5 minutes up to 12 minutes. The name “annular” came from the Latin word “annulus”, meaning “ring”.
Partial Eclipse: This event occurs when the moon covers only a part of the Sun. This is because the earth moves into the moon’s penumbra.
Please make sure that you are using approved filters to see any of the eclipse (including Total Solar Eclipse).