Total Solar Eclipse Tomorrow

31 07 2008

On August 1st people up in northern Canada and Russia will be able to see a total solar eclipse!  A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks out the sun.

 

 

During a total solar eclipse, day turns into night and the stars come out.  But how does our small moon block out the enormous sun?  Well, the sun is 400 times larger than the moon.  But the moon is 400 times closer to Earth.  So the sun and the moon appear roughly the same size in Earth’s sky!  From our perspective, the moon can totally block out the sun during an eclipse.

 

It is very hard to see a total solar eclipse in person since they are only visible from a very small part of Earth.  The part of earth in total darkness from the eclipse is usually only about 157 miles wide!  And any spot on Earth’s surface will see a total solar eclipse only once every 375 years.  

 

You can watch a video on how eclipses work here.

Have fun and remember to never look directly at the sun!

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