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2024 Total Solar Eclipse - Online Display

What is a Solar Eclipse?

"Eclipses occur when the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are in a direct line. Because the Moon’s orbit is inclined to the orbit of the Earth, eclipses only occur when the Moon is crossing the plane of the Earth’s orbit at the time of the new or full Moon.

A lunar eclipse occurs during a full Moon when the Earth is directly between the Sun and the Moon, casting its shadow on the face of the Moon.

A solar eclipse occurs during a new Moon when the Moon is directly between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out the Sun’s rays.

The Earth is bigger than the Moon and casts a bigger shadow. The Earth’s shadow is large enough to cover the whole Moon, whereas the Moon’s shadow during a solar eclipse falls on just a small area of the Earth."

Diagram of lunar eclipse (top) and solar eclipse (bottom)


Text and image extracted from: National Research Council Canada. (2019). Solar and Lunar Eclipses: General Information.  ​​​​​

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