Viewing a Total Solar Eclipse Essay

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“If this could be repeated every day for a year, I would never budge from where I stood” (Mass 71). This powerful sentence is a woman’s opinion upon viewing a total solar eclipse. This natural phenomenon is said to be extraordinary, and it continues to fascinate many people around the world. Solar eclipses are called Nature’s Greatest Coincidence, and they are a thing of beauty that can have a strong effect on people. A solar eclipse can only occur if the moon is in its new moon phase when it passes between the earth and the sun. If the moon’s shadow falls on the earth’s surface at that time, then we would be able to see some part of the sun eclipsed, or covered, by the moon. Even though we have a new moon about every month, we don’t…show more content…
“If this could be repeated every day for a year, I would never budge from where I stood” (Mass 71). This powerful sentence is a woman’s opinion upon viewing a total solar eclipse. This natural phenomenon is said to be extraordinary, and it continues to fascinate many people around the world. Solar eclipses are called Nature’s Greatest Coincidence, and they are a thing of beauty that can have a strong effect on people. A solar eclipse can only occur if the moon is in its new moon phase when it passes between the earth and the sun. If the moon’s shadow falls on the earth’s surface at that time, then we would be able to see some part of the sun eclipsed, or covered, by the moon. Even though we have a new moon about every month, we don’t have an eclipse. The moon’s orbit around Earth is tilted five degrees toward the earth’s orbit around the sun, resulting in the shadow just missing it. However, usually about twice a year does the geometry line up so that the moon’s shadow falls somewhere on Earth and an eclipse is able to be seen from that area. The aforementioned geometry is what makes a solar eclipse so amazing. A solar eclipse is often called Nature’s Greatest Coincidence because the moon and the sun happen to look the exact same size from Earth. In reality, the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, and the moon is 400 times closer to the sun than the earth. Had it been a few miles smaller across, the moon wouldn’t hide the sun when it passed in front of it. During

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