Use this at-a-glance guide to understand the differences between the two eclipses.
- Total solar eclipse: A total solar eclipse is visible from a small area on Earth. The sky becomes very dark as if it were night. For a total eclipse to occur, the Sun, Moon, and Earth must be in a direct line.
- Annular solar eclipse: An annular eclipse happens when the Moon is farthest from Earth. Because the Moon is farther away, it seems smaller and it does not block the entire view of the Sun, creating a ring around the Moon.