Ngebray.com,- Total solar eclipses occur when the moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun blocking solar light. They are exceedingly rare. The last one to touch the United States was in 1979. The celestial phenomena will cross the US from coast to coast on August 21, 2017. On average, they have been where you live once every 375 years.
The Sun is about 400 times larger than the moon but the Sun is also 400 times farther away. So the two bodies appear about the same size to us on earth. The moon orbits the earth once each month. So why doesn’t the moon shadow touch the earth causing an eclipse with each pass? Party because the moon’s orbit is tilted slightly which causes its shadow to miss the earth most of the time.
Another reason is that the moon’s orbit is elliptical. For much of its orbit the moon is farther away from Earth and appears too small to block out the Sun completely. Those eclipses are called annular. Only when the eclipse occurs at the moon’s closest approach is a visible total eclipse possible. Even then, the narrow band of totality usually tracks over water or away from population centers. That’s why this total solar eclipse is so special as it cuts a path of darkness across the US. It could be the most viewed total eclipse in history and for many the experience of a lifetime.
The sky will turn dark in the middle of the day, flowers will close, and some animals may go to sleep.
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