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Important Facts For Prelims

Solar Eclipse

  • 20 Nov 2019
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Cheruvathur in Kasaragod district, Kerala is one of the three places in the world where the solar eclipse will be most clearly seen on December 26, 2019.

  • It will be an annular solar eclipse in which the ‘ring of fire’- a characteristic of this kind of solar eclipse could be clearly observed.

Solar Eclipse

  • A solar eclipse is a phenomenon that happens when the moon comes in the way of the sun’s light. The moon's shadow casts itself on Earth, blocking out the sun's light (as seen from Earth).
  • The moon's shadow has two parts: a central region (umbra) and an outer region (penumbra). Depending upon which part of the shadow passes over the Earth, one of three types of solar eclipses could be observed:
    • Total Solar Eclipse- The entire central portion of the sun is blocked out by the moon.
    • Partial Solar Eclipse- Only part of the sun's surface is blocked out.
    • Annular Solar Eclipse- The sun is covered in such a way that only a small ring-like sliver of light is seen from the sun's disc. This ring is known as the ring of fire. 
      • An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. As the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and is unable to block the entire view of the sun, because of which the ring-like structure could be observed.
  • The total eclipse happens about every year and a half somewhere on Earth, while the partial eclipse happens at least twice a year somewhere on Earth.

Source: TH

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