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Current Affairs

Annular Solar Eclipse

Date: 27 December 2019 Tags: Space

Issue

The last solar eclipse of this year  took place on December 26, which was observed over the eastern hemisphere of the Earth in India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore etc.

 

Background

An eclipse happens when the moon while orbiting the Earth, comes in between the sun and the Earth, due to which the moon blocks the sun’s light from reaching the Earth, causing an eclipse of the sun or a solar eclipse.

 

Details

Types of Eclipses

There are three types of eclipses:

 

Total solar eclipse

It is visible only from a small area on Earth. People who are able to view the total solar eclipse are in the centre of the moon’s shadow as and when it hits the Earth.

A total solar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and Earth are in a direct line.

 

Partial solar eclipse

 The shadow of the moon appears on a small part of the sun. During a partial solar eclipse, the Moon, the Sun and Earth don't align in a perfectly straight line, and the Moon casts only the outer part of its shadow, the penumbra, on Earth.

 

Annular solar eclipse

This happens when the moon is farthest from the Earth, which is why it seems smaller. In this type of an eclipse, the moon does not block the sun completely, but looks like a “dark disk on top of a larger sun-colored disk” forming a “ring of fire”.

  • During a solar eclipse the moon casts two shadows on the Earth, the first one is called the umbra, which gets smaller as it reaches the Earth. The second one is called the penumbra, which gets larger as it reaches the Earth. 

  • People standing in the umbra see a total eclipse and those standing in the penumbra see a partial eclipse

  • One of the main reasons to observe solar eclipses is to study the top layer of the sun called the corona, which can be clearly observed during an eclipse.

Annular Solar Eclipse 27 dec 2019