What Happens During A Solar Eclipse | Solar Eclipse Facts | Solar Eclipse Information

  • Solar Eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs by the obscuration of the Sun by the moon. 
  • The three types of Solar Eclipse are: Partial, Annular, and total. 
  • Solar Eclipse can cause blindness, one must wear solar viewers or eclipse glasses to watch a Solar Eclipse. 
  • Umbra and Penumbra are two types of shadows cast by the Moon during an eclipse. 
  • Occurrence of an Eclipse depends upon the area you live in, hence in a certain location on the Earth, a Solar Eclipse may occur once every hundred years. 


What is Solar Eclipse?

  • Solar Eclipse is a rare astronomical event that occurs due to the blockage of sun rays coming towards the Earth as the moon casts a shadow on the Earth by placing itself between the Sun and the Earth. 
  • This shadow of the moon falling on the Earth is known as “Solar Eclipse”. 
  • The Earth is a bigger planet than the moon therefore it causes a shadow on the limited area of Earth. 
  • The Solar Eclipse moves from one place to another because of the continuous movement of the Moon and Earth. 
  • As the Earth rotates around its axis and orbits the Sun whereas the Moon orbits the Earth. 
  • All of them move at the same time, causing a solar eclipse to move from one place to another.  

Types of Solar Eclipse:

  • There are three major types of the solar eclipse. But the question arises why there are different types of Solar Eclipse? 
  • Well, it is because this type of eclipse depends upon which part of the moon’s shadow is falling on the earth or how much of the sun’s disk is covered by the moon’s disk.
    • Partial Solar Eclipse is caused by the moon casting penumbra of Earth and partially covering the Sun’s disk.
    • An annular Solar Eclipse appears in the form of a fire ring in the sky. It happens when the moon places itself right in the centre of the sun forming an antumbra visible from Earth.
    • Total Solar Eclipse causes the coverage of the whole Sun when the moon is near perigee. Perigee is a point of the Moon’s orbit closest to Earth.

What are Umbra and Penumbra?

  • Umbra and Penumbra are the types of two shadows cast by the Moon during a solar eclipse.
    • In an annular eclipse, the moon places itself farthest from the Earth and causes the first type of moon’s shadow known as Umbra. Umbra is the dark centre of the moon’s shadow falling on Earth. Eclipse is “entirely” visible to the people standing in Umbra.
    • During the second form of the Moon’s shadow known as Penumbra, the moon is closest to the earth. Eclipse is “partially” visible to the people standing in the penumbra.

What happens during a solar eclipse?

  • As mentioned earlier, the Moon holds itself between the sun and the earth, blocking the sun’s light from reaching the Earth. This causes a Solar eclipse.
  • During a Solar Eclipse, the sky becomes so dark as if it were night. It happens once every 18 months (in a particular region) and lasts for a few minutes. 
  • Solar Eclipse emits harmful radiations that can cause permanent blindness that’s why you should never look directly at the sun during an eclipse.
  • Always use safety equipment such as safety glasses also called Solar viewer, instead of staring directly at the sun.

What does a Solar Eclipse look like?

  • A solar eclipse looks like a dark spot in the sun. This dark spot is a shadow of the moon.
  • The dark spot is placed according to the type of Solar Eclipse. As mentioned earlier there are three types of Solar eclipses: Partial, Annular, Total, and Hybrid.
  • All of them cause different looks of Solar Eclipse e.g
    • During a partial eclipse, the shadow of the moon on Earth appears partially.
    • During an annular eclipse, the moon’s shadow appears as the ring of the fire in the sky.
    • During a total eclipse, the shadow of the moon covers the sun completely.


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Can a Solar Eclipse Blind you?

  • Yes, Solar Eclipses can cause blindness if you don’t use any proper eye protection during an Eclipse. The term used for this type of blindness is called “eclipse blindness”.
  • Moreover, it can cause retinal burns also known as “solar retinopathy”. 
  • In solar retinopathy, the cells of the eye’s retina are damaged due to massive light exposure during an eclipse. 
  • The retina is the part of your eye that transmits what you see to the brain.

How to watch Solar Eclipse?

  • According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, one must wear hand-held solar viewers or eclipse glasses to watch a Solar Eclipse. 

What are Solar Eclipse Glasses?

  • Solar Eclipse glasses are used for viewing the Solar eclipses safely.
  • With the help of these glasses, you can directly face any Solar event as they block all the damaging radiations coming towards Earth.
  • You can not expect this type of protection from standard sunglasses as they are not designed for filtering out such damaging radiation.
  • Solar Eclipse glasses are made of a flexible resin material infused with carbon particles known as a black polymer. 
  • Black polymer material blocks all the visible light and ultraviolet rays as well in order to protect your eyes.

What does a Solar Eclipse mean?

  • Solar Eclipse means the appearance of a dark spot in the daytime on the Sun. This dark spot is a shadow of the moon. The moon blocks the sun rays from reaching the Earth by passing directly in a specific amount of time between the Earth and the Sun.

What is the definition of Solar Eclipse?

  • The obscuration of the Sun by the moon is known as Solar Eclipse.

What is Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse?

  • Solar Eclipse is caused by the Moon blocking the Sun rays from reaching the Earth. The Earth, Moon and the Sun lie in the same line during a Solar Eclipse.
  • Lunar Eclipse is caused by the Earth blocking the Moon from view. During a lunar eclipse, all three lie in the same line just like a solar eclipse but in a different order.

How often is the Solar Eclipse?

  • The area on the Earth is covered about 50 miles in totality. Hence in any location on the Earth, a Solar Eclipse may occur once every hundred years.
  • But for selected areas or locations an Eclipse may occur a few years apart.

How Does the Solar Eclipse Happen?

  • Solar Eclipse occurs when the moon passes by the ascending and descending nodes. These nodes are located within the 0.5 degrees ecliptic plane.
  • There are only two opportunities for the moon each month to pass through an ecliptic plane when the moon travels along an orbit inclined by 5 degrees.

What Does a Solar Eclipse Look Like from Space?

  • In space, the Solar Eclipse does not appear as it appears on Earth. It simply looks like a shadow of the moon falling on Earth.

Is the Solar Eclipse Dangerous?


  • Of course, it is very dangerous especially for children as the harmful radiation coming from the sun during an eclipse can damage retina cells in an eye. 
  • This damage to your eyes can blind you permanently and there is no cure to it yet.

Is the Solar Eclipse bad for pregnancy?

  • There is no scientific proof to it however, it is a common superstition that Solar Eclipse can cause adverse effects on the growth of microorganisms and could leave a birthmark on a child.

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