FearOfPhysics.com: Why Eclipses of the Sun Happen

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Why Eclipses of the Sun Happen

Once in a while, you will be in the position to see a solar eclipse. In the last animation, you may have noticed times when the moon moved between the Earth and the Sun. When this happens, the moon blocks some of the sun's light that would ordinarily hit the earth---the moon casts a shadow on the earth. If your green city is in the moon's shadow, you'll see the sun being blocked!

What the sun, moon, and earth are doing.

What you would see from your green city

In this animation, the left frame shows a situation from the last animation where the moon has moved between the sun and the earth. AND, your green city has rotated in a position to witness this event!

The right frame shows you what you would see from your green city, looking up at the sun. The dark "hole" in the Sun is the Moon's shadow cast down upon you. The Moon blocks the Sun's light during an eclipse. Lots of such eclipses happen, it's just rare for your city to have rotated in the right position to see it!

Click here to see a view of it all from the Moon...

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