Hide and seek
Ever wondered if the astronomical bodies play? Yes, they do. The Sun, Moon and Earth are often found playing hide and seek. Confused? Eclipse is the answer to this confusion! Eclipse – It is an event when one astronomical object hides the other. During the eclipse a celestial body partially or totally covers another celestial object. Thus the game of shadows start.
In this event all the three bodies are aligned in a straight line. This alignment is known as Syzyy. It is a wonder how such a large Sun hides behind the moon. The answer to this is that about 400 times larger Sun is also about 400 times far from it. Hence they have the same angular size which is about 1/2°. This appears as the Moon covering the Sun forming the miraculous phenomenon.
We can witness two types of eclipses:
- Eclipses of the Sun known as Solar eclipses:
Here the Moon lies in between the Earth and the Sun. This results in the shadow of the Moon on the Earth. Thus the moon is the barrier to watch the Sun from earth. These eclipses occur only on a new Moon day. There are about 2 to 5 Solar Eclipses in a year.
The Solar Eclipse can be further categorized as Total, Partial and Annular Solar Eclipse. Also very rarely there is a combination of Annular and total eclipse
- Eclipses of the Moon – The lunar eclipses
A lunar eclipse occurs when the shadow of the Earth falls on the Moon. Here the Earth is in the center thus blocking the light from the Sun to reach the Moon.
Contradictory to Solar eclipse, lunar eclipse occur on Full Moon day. It is also further classified into Total, Partial and Penumbral eclipse.
Like the Earth, the other planets also experience Eclipses. Some of them enjoy this game quite often as the number of moon is greater! The earth will be experiencing its Solar Eclipse on 2nd July 2019. Stay tuned for updates!