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Solar Eclipse: August 21, 2017

September 24, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse: August 21, 2017. One of the most amazing events to experience on planet Earth. This natural celestial phenomenon occurs when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun between the Earth, which casts a shadow, the umbra, seen by those that are within the small path of totality. The light that surrounds the Moon is the Suns solar corona, meaning ‘crown’ in Latin. During totality, light from the Suns corona is refracted by the Earths atmosphere, which causes a wavelike pattern on the Earths surface that scientists call, Shadow Bands. Although the Sun is 400 times the size of the Moon, it is also 400 times further away, which is why we are able to view totality. The Earth and the Moon both have elliptical orbits which is why total solar eclipses are relatively infrequent. As the Moon drifts away from the Earths gravitational pull, in about 600 million years, total solar eclipses will no longer be visible from the Earths surface. Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the idea that gravity bends light, was proven by scientists in 1919 after observing a total solar eclipse.

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