How Eclipses of the Sun Happen

In its 27 – day Orbit of the Earth, the Moon sometimes passes directly in front of the Sun and we see a solar eclipse. In one of the natural world’s most eerie, beautiful spectacles, the dark circle of the Moon gradually creeps over the Sun.

Between two and five solar eclipses are visible from somewhere on the Earth each year.

When the Moon is at its farthest from the Earth, it is not big enough in the sky to cover the Sun completely during an eclipse. Instead of a total eclipse, an annular eclipse occurs. When the Moon is exactly in front of the Sun, a bright ring of the Sun’s photosphere is still visible around the edge of the Moon.

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