A solar eclipse is one of the magnificent astronomical events that happen once in a while. It is not specified how often solar eclipse occurs in a year. But it usually happens at least twice a year.
There used to be a lot of myths about solar eclipse back when people had no scientific knowledge. The solar eclipse has also been viewed as a forecast of something harmful or destructive event. For example- the Greeks used to think of solar eclipse as a punishment. They used to think the solar eclipse as a foreteller of the punishment that their king might be enduring for some reason. The word Eclipse was derived from the Greek word- “ekleípō,” which means disappearance But with the flow of time, the scientific reason has been found out behind this significant astronomical event.
What is Solar Eclipse, and why it happens?
Earth rotates around the Sun in its orbit. In the same way, the moon revolves around the planet in its orbit, being its satellite. When the moon comes precisely in the middle of the earth and the Sun, a solar eclipse occurs. That means the earth, the moon, and the Sun come exactly in an alignment. So, when a solar eclipse occurs, we see a dark black shade is covering the Sun, and the shade is nothing but the moon. In other words, the disc of the Sun gets entirely obscured by the moon. This is how a solar eclipse happens. A solar eclipse travel can be the best thing in your lifetime you can experience.
Types of Solar Eclipses:
- Partial Solar Eclipse:
A partial solar eclipse only occurs when the moon partially covers the Sun. As a matter of fact, the moon cannot cover the sun wholly, therefore the disk of the Sun casts penumbra only.
- Annual Solar Eclipse:
Annual Solar Eclipse happens when the moon’s small size cannot cover the entire disk of the Sun. As a result, the outer edges of the Sun remain visible when the annual solar eclipse occurs. It seems there is a ring of fire in the sky during the eclipse. When it is near apogee, that means the lunar orbit is the farthest away from the earth.
- Total Solar Eclipse:
A total solar eclipse takes place when the moon entirely obscures the Sun. There will not be seen the outer edges of the Sun. That means there will be no ring of fire. This kind of eclipse occurs when the moon is near the perigee, which means the lunar orbit is in the earth’s closest position.
- Hybrid Solar Eclipse:
It is a rare kind of solar eclipse. It happens when an annual solar eclipse turns the form into a total solar eclipse and vice versa.
When and how often do solar eclipses occur?
A solar eclipse occurs depending on the positions of the Sun and the moon. There are two ecliptic lunar nodes- the north node and the south node. Two conditions work to make a solar eclipse happen-
1. The Sun has to be crossing a node
2. The moon must be traveling the same node as the Sun
To forecast the solar eclipse, it is necessary to keep tracks of the moon’s position.
The solar eclipse happens typically 2 or 4 times a year. But a total eclipse hardly happens once in hundred years. A hybrid solar eclipse is also much rare to be seen.
Is it dangerous to go outside during a solar eclipse?
It is dangerous to go outside without any eye protection during a solar eclipse because the ray that comes from the eclipsed Sun is a reflected ray, which is very harmful to our eyes for the direct ultraviolet rays. It can burn our eye nerves. So it is very much essential to take eye protection while going outside during the solar eclipse.