Annular Solar Eclipse The Hindu-27-12-2019 -Page-1

What is an Eclipse?

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.

Three types of eclipses

Total Solar Eclipse-Moon completely covers the Sun.It is visible only from a small area on Earth.
A total solar eclipse happens when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a direct line.
The second type of a solar eclipse is a partial solar eclipse, in which the shadow of the Moon appears on a small part of the Sun.
The third kind is an Annular Solar Eclipse, which happens when the Moon is farthest from the Earth, which is why it seems smaller.

The Moon covers the centre of the Sun, giving the appearance of a bright ring.
The key difference between Annular and Total is that the Moon is further away from the Earth during an Annular as compared to a Total Eclipse.
There are no annular lunar eclipses because Earth is much bigger than the Moon, and its shadow will never be small enough to leave a ring.

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.
Is it safe to view solar eclipses?

NASA maintains that the Sun can be viewed safely using the naked eye only during a total eclipse, while during partial and annular solar eclipses, the Sun should not be viewed without proper equipment and techniques.
Not using proper methods and equipment for viewing can cause permanent eye damage or severe visual loss, it says.
Safety equipment includes eclipse glasses and using appropriate solar filters for covering binoculars, telescopes and cameras.

Context

Different stages of the annular solar eclipse as seen from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu.

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