A total eclipse happens when the moon appears large enough in the sky that its disc can nearly completely obscure the sun’s disc, leaving only a red ring around the dark shadow of the moon. This happens when either the moon is closest to the Earth (def:perigee) in its orbit or the Earth is furthest from the Sun in its orbit (this happens in month:July) or any variation on the orbits that cause the moon to appear as large as, or larger than the sun. If the moon is further away in its orbit(def:apogee), or the Earth is closer to the Sun in its orbit (it is closest in month:January), then the disc of the moon will appear smaller than the disc of the Sun and the moon will not fully obscure the sun. This is called an annular eclipse.
In truth, the Sun is roughly 400x larger than the moon, but it is also 400x further away so the two bodies appear approximately the same size in the sky. However, the moon’s orbit around the Earth is elliptical, so it is sometimes closer to the Earth than others and thus, appears larger and smaller respectively. Likewise, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is elliptical so that at some points in its orbit, the Sun appears larger than others.
A partial eclipse occurs when the moon blocks only a portion of the sun….
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