Whether the type of eclipse is solar or lunar, an eclipse happens when the moon, the sun, and the earth align either partially or completely.
The position of the earth, moon, and sun determines the eclipse types. Sometimes in 2017, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks the sunlight.
The term eclipse is from the ancient Greek word—it comes from the phrase ékleipsis, meaning to fail or abandon.
Whether the eclipse is solar or lunar, the terms eclipse have fascinated scientists and ordinary people for centuries.
People start to understand the concept of the eclipse because many people have always had some fear over the years whenever an eclipse occurs.
In Africa and some other parts of the world, many cultures describe the eclipse myths in so many ways
They try to explain what caused the temporary darkening of the sun or the moon. However, thanks to science, many people can now outgrow the stories they told them and know the real cause of an eclipse, thanks to our scientists and astronomers.
We have two types of eclipse.
1. Solar Eclipse
The solar eclipse is one of the types of eclipse that occurs when the moon orbits the earth. This happens when the moon moves between the sun and the earth, thereby blocking the sun’s light from reaching the earth.
This type of eclipse only occurs during the new moon, occurring twice every year, and on an infrequent occasion, it can occur five times a year. The solar eclipse can be either a total or partial solar eclipse.
It is interesting to know that the moon casts two shadows on the earth during the solar eclipse. The umbra is the first shadow cast.
People standing in the umbra area will see a total eclipse and the second shadow cast is the penumbra. People standing in the penumbra region will see a partial eclipse.
However, a solar eclipse lasts for a few minutes, unlike the lunar eclipses.
Furthermore, there are four types of solar eclipses. Total solar eclipse, partial solar eclipse, annual solar eclipse, and hybrid solar eclipse.
- Total Solar eclipses: This type of solar eclipses occurs when the sun is completely blocked by the moon. Because the size of the moon is considerably smaller, a total solar eclipses are only visible from a specific part of the earth. The shadow of the moon will only pass through a narrow path on the earth’s surface. And only the areas around that path will see the eclipse. Furthermore, looking at the solar eclipse without wearing any protective eyewear can cause damage to your eyes. It is either you don’t look at the eclipse, or look at the eclipse with a protective eclipse glass
- Partial Solar Eclipses: A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon doesn’t completely cover the sun. This type of eclipse occurs during the build up of a total solar eclipse and annular solar eclipse. The sun appears to have a dark shadow on a small part of its surface.
- Annular Solar Eclipses: An annular eclipse occurs when the moon doesn’t entirely cover the sun. If when the moon is completely centered in front of it leaving its outer edges to form a “ring of fire”. This happens when the moon is farthest from the earth. An annular eclipse is much rare than the partial solar eclipse as it is only seem in a narrow corridor across the earth.
- Hybrid Solar Eclipses: An hybrid type of solar eclipse is just the combination of a total solar eclipse and an annular eclipse. This type of solar eclipse is very rare.
2. Lunar Eclipses
The lunar eclipse is when the earth’s shadow is cast over the moon. The moon does not have its light; it only shines because its surface reflects the sun’s rays.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth comes between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s rays from reaching the moon. This type of eclipse is the eclipse of the moon.
A lunar eclipse usually lasts for a few hours. Total lunar eclipses are very rare, but partial lunar eclipses can occur at least twice a year.
A lunar eclipse can only be seen from the earth at night, and we have two types of lunar eclipse.
The total lunar eclipse and the partial lunar eclipse.
- Total lunar Eclipses: A total lunar eclipses occurs when the moon passes through the earth umbra shadow giving the moon that red-orange tone. The reason of the reddish color is because the suns light is passing through the whole circumference of the earth.
- Partial Lunar Eclipses: A partial lunar eclipse is a type of eclipses that happens when part of thr moon enters earth shadow. Rather than the reddish color of the total eclipse, in partial eclipse. The earth shadow appears to be very dark on the side of the moon facing the earth.