What is A Solar Eclipse?
You probably know that the earth travels around the sun and the moon travels around the earth. As the moon revolves around the earth, it passes between the earth and the sun once every month. But the orbit of the moon around the earth is not in a direct line with the earth’s orbit around the sun, so the moon usually does not pass directly in front of the sun. But when it does, it blocks out part or all of the sun and this event are called a ‘solar eclipse.’
The sun is much bigger than the moon, but is so far away that the moon can cover it up, just as you can cover up a distant house when you hold your hand before your face. When the moon is between the sun and the earth, the moon throws a shadow on the earth. This part of earth covered by the shadow is in darkness. Thus a solar eclipse can’t be seen from all parts of the world. An eclipse never lasts more than about seven and a half minutes. The greatest number of solar eclipses possible in a year is five.