Solar eclipse 2018: The science behind the stunning phenomenon | Top Stories

On August 11, people around the world will be treated to a partial .

Solar eclipses occur the moon moves between the sun and Earth, blocking the light of the sun from reaching our planet.

This causes an eclipse of the sun, or .

There are three types of solar eclipses:

Total solar eclipse




For a total eclipse to take place, the sun, moon and Earth must be in a direct line.

A total solar eclipse will only be visible from a small area of Earth, in the centre of the moon’s shadow when it hits Earth.

The sky becomes very dark, as if it were night.

Partial solar eclipse




A partial solar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and Earth are not exactly lined up.

The sun appears to have a dark shadow on only a small part of its surface.

Annular solar eclipse



Annular solar eclipse

The third type is an annular solar eclipse.

An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth.

Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller.

It does not block the entire view of the sun, and instead, the moon in front of the sun looks like a dark disk on of a larger sun-coloured disk.

This creates what looks like a ring around the moon.

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