Solar Eclipse

#GS1 #SolarSystem 

There will be a solar eclipse on 21st June, 2020 which can be observed in the northern parts of India.


What is a solar eclipse?

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the moon (at the new moon phase) blocks the solar disk partially or completely, leading to a partial, annular, and total solar eclipse, respectively.
  • During the eclipse, the shadow of the moon falls on Earth and constitutes a darker region known as umbra and relatively less dark region, penumbra.
  • Total solar eclipses are the rarest of the solar eclipses. Even though we have a new moon every month, we do not witness eclipses so often. This is due to the fact that the orbit of the moon is inclined at an angle of around 5˚ with respect to the Earth-Sun plane. This leads to the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth as a rare astronomical phenomenon.

Types of Solar Eclipse 

  • Depending on the distance of the moon from the earth during the event, different types of solar eclipse can be observed. They can be categorised as –
  • Partial – When the Moon does not align completely with the Sun and so only a portion of the sunlight is blocked from reaching the Earth.
  • Annular – When the moon covers the Sun but the Sun can be seen around the edges of the Moon giving an impression of the sun is a bright ring surrounding the dark disc of the Moon.
  • Total – When the Sun is completely covered by the moon. The sky becomes so dark that it appears to be night. Only a small area on the earth can witness it.


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