25 Solar Eclipse Facts You Didn’t Know About

Have you heard all the fuss about the Solar Eclipse coming up? Just what is all this eclipse business about? Today, we’re going to share with you a few solar eclipse facts you might not know. The continental U.S. is preparing for its first total solar eclipse since February 26, 1979. This is very exciting news because total solar eclipses are one of the most bizarre natural spectacles ever. Nicknamed “The Great American Eclipse,” this eclipse will occur exclusively over the continental U.S., so if you live in the U.S. you’re in for an astronomical treat! Prepare yourself with these 25 Solar Eclipse Facts You Didn’t Know About.

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A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes in front of the Sun and casts a shadow on the Earth.

Solar_eclipse_DiagramSource: https://theplanets.org/solar-eclipses/; http://www.astronomy.com/great-american-eclipse-2017/articles/2016/06/25-facts-about-the-2017-solar-eclipse; http://discovermagazine.com/2009/jul-aug/30-20-things-you-didnt-know-about-eclipses

This is because the distance between the Sun and the Earth is about 400 times the Moon’s distance from the Sun. The Sun’s diameter is also about 400 times larger than the Moon’s.

Due to these measurements, the Sun and the Moon have a similar size when viewed from Earth. When the moon passes in front of the sun, it blocks the light from reaching Earth.


There are three different types of solar eclipse: Partial, Annular, and Total.

Annular_Partial_Total_EclipseSource: https://theplanets.org/solar-eclipses/; http://space-facts.com/solar-eclipse/

A partial solar eclipse is when the Moon does not line up completely with the sun.

An annular solar eclipse is when the Moon and the Sun are in line, but either the moon is further from Earth or the Earth is closer to the Sun. In this situation, the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun, which then creates a bright ring surrounding the darkness of the Moon.

A total eclipse is when the moon completely covers the sun.


The solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 will be the first total eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years.

Great_American_Eclipse_Over_NashvilleSource: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/facts-solar-eclipse.html

The last one took place in February 26, 1979; the next one won’t be until April 8, 2024.


The solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 has been nicknamed “The Great American Eclipse.”

Great_American_eclipse_2Source: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/facts-solar-eclipse.html

This is because it’s the first time since the total solar eclipse on January 11, 1880 that a total eclipse will occur exclusively over the continental U.S.

Note: The eclipse of February 26, 1979 was not exclusive to the U.S. and was also viewed from Canada and Greenland.


Stars will appear.

Stars6Source: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/facts-solar-eclipse.html; http://space-facts.com/solar-eclipse/

As the eclipse darkens the skies, the planets and stars hidden by the Sun’s light will be visible. Keep a lookout for Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus.

Image Souces: 1-5. Shutterstock, 6. Shutterstock with words added, 7-23. Shutterstock, 24. Shutterstock edited with Annular, partial, and total eclipses and words added, 25. Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: 25 Harry Potter Facts That Will Knock You Off Your Broomstick »

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