Do you have a question about eclipses in general or about this one in particular?
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- So, what is a solar eclipse?
An eclipse is when the light of a star is blocked from our point of view. Basically the Earth goes around the Sun. The Moon goes around the Earth. Sometimes the Moon is just in between, blocking the Sun. That happens even when the Moon is actually much smaller than The Sun, is just that the Moon is much closer. There are many many pages to explain that, just google it, go to wikipedia, you tube, …
- What is a total solar eclipse?
A total solar eclipse is when, from your position, there is a moment when the Moon completely occults the Sun. Only then you can look directly without protection. Is only then when we can directly see the atmosphere of the Sun, stars and planets around it.
- What is a partial solar eclipse?
A partial eclipse is when, from your position, the Moon occults the Sun, but not completely. This eclipse will be partial in Southern Africa, east Antarctica,South East Asia, Australia.
- What is an annular solar eclipse?
A partial eclipse is when, from your position, the Moon is aligned with the Sun, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller, so it does not fill the image of the Sun, thus seeming a bright ring. This happens because the orbit of the Moon is an ellipse. Therefore sometimes the Moon is a bit closer than other times. This eclipse will be annular on southeast Sumatra, Jakarta and Borneo.
- Is a lunar eclipse the same thing?
No. The lunar eclipse is when The Earth itself blocks the sunlight going to the Moon. So the Earth is in the middle and we barely see the full Moon for some time.
- What is penumbra and umbra?
The umbra of an eclipse is the space where none of the sunlight can be seen. Those places see a total eclipse. The penumbra is when some of the light is blocked and some is not. Those places see a partial eclipse.
- Why is there not an eclipse every time the Moon makes a revolution?
The orbit of the Earth around the Sun is not on the same plane as the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. There are like 5 degrees of difference. Thus the orbits cross each other in 2 points. Only when Moon passes that point when theses point are on the Sun-Earth line, we see an eclipse.
- Why is the eclipse happening only on certain regions?
That is because of the size of the shadow of the Moon. That shadow, with the Earth, Moon and Sun where they are is below 250 km ( 155 miles ) wide. As the Moon revolves, that shadow moves across some regions of the Earth.
- How fast does the shadow move?
Typical speeds are of the about 1700 km/h (1056 mph)
- When is the next one?
The next one is just next 26 of January 2009. That´s the reason we made this page. next one is on the 22 July 2009. Total in central and northeastern India,Bhutan, China, Ryukyu Islands. Partial in Asia, Melanesia, Pacific Ocean,Hawaii
- Why is the moon so similar in size to the Sun?
This is a just wonderful coincidence. The Moon is drifting away though, at 3.8 cm ( 1.5 inches ) per year. In some many thousand millions of years we won´t have total solar eclipses any more, so make photos while we can.
- How does the eclipse influence my zodiacal sign?
In no way. There is no Influence of our behavior or future due to the celestial bodies (astrology is a belief without real support ). We might get romantic or excited, but don´t blame the stars.
- I looked at the Sun directly without protection. What can I do?
Depending on the time and how you did it can be bad, worse or fatal. The retina has no pain receptors so you won´t realize until the damage is done. Some people report seeing black and white temporarily, some people report shadows afterwards. Please go and check with an ophtamologist. Consequences range from nothing, reduced transparency inside the eye on the long term, sunburns on the retina, temporal or even irreversible blindness.
- I felt cold wind during the eclipse. Was it related?