A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, and the moon casts a shadow over the Earth.
There are three main types of solar eclipses:
- Annular solar eclipse: An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because of this distance, it seems smaller and it does not block the entire view of the sun. A ring around the moon is created, often referred to as a “ring of fire.”
- Partial solar eclipse: Partial eclipses happen when the sun, moon, and Earth are not exactly aligned. The sun appears to have a dark shadow on a small part of the surface.
- Total solar eclipse: For a total eclipse to occur, the sun, moon, and Earth must be in a direct line. A total solar eclipse is visible from a small area on earth. The moon covers up the sun, causing the sky to become very dark as if it were night. In order to see the full effect of the total solar eclipse, you must be in the “Path of Totality.” If you are outside of that path, you will see a partial eclipse.