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Total Solar Eclipse April 2024: 5 Cool Facts You Should Know



Total Solar Eclipse April 2024: 5 Cool Facts You Should Know

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This Monday, a total solar eclipse will grace the skies; discover how to witness this awe-inspiring event and uncover five fascinating facts about it.

The eclipse will be visible in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

The world witnessed the total solar eclipse visible in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Astronomers predict the partial eclipse to start at 12:42 pm, reaching its climax at 3:17 pm.

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on our planet. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon completely blocks out the Sun’s light, creating a captivating phenomenon. This Monday, we’ll experience one such event.

The phenomena is unique because of a few things, including its brief duration and narrower visibility area.

See the following list of five interesting facts regarding the phenomenon:

1. The Occurrence of Total Solar Eclipses: A Rare Celestial Event

The total solar eclipse is an uncommon event, occurring once or twice a year. However, it is considered rare because only individuals in specific areas of the planet have the opportunity to witness the total eclipse.

The visibility range spans a maximum of 270 kilometers wide, restricting the observation of the phenomenon. For this Monday’s eclipse, the path crosses North America, traversing Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

According to an estimate by Time and Date, a website dedicated to astronomy, only 0.55% of the global population resides in countries where the eclipse is fully visible.

2. The perceived diameter is the cause of the phenomena.

If we were to consider the sizes of the celestial bodies involved, a solar eclipse would never occur. This is because the Sun is significantly larger than the Moon, so it would never be obscured.

The phenomenon occurs due to the apparent diameter — the alignment and distance between the Sun, Moon, and Earth — making them appear to be the same size, enabling them to overlap.

3 . The eclipse lasts very short

The phenomenon is further classified as rare due to its brief duration. It typically lasts a maximum of 7 and a half minutes, varying depending on the location within the visibility range.

In most countries where it’s observable, however, the duration generally falls between 4 to 5 minutes.

Additionally, the visibility of the eclipse is contingent upon clear skies. If the sky is overcast, the eclipse will not be visible. As a result, those eager to witness the phenomenon must rely on luck, hoping for clear skies during the limited viewing window.

4 . Solar and lunar eclipses go hand in hand

Whenever a solar eclipse, whether total or partial, takes place, it is always followed by a lunar eclipse in the subsequent phase of the moon. This occurs due to the inclination of the orbits, which connects both phenomena.

In addition to relying on the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth, a solar eclipse consistently transpires during the new Moon phase. Conversely, a lunar eclipse invariably occurs during the full moon phase.

5 . The solar eclipse will no longer happen

Additionally, the rarity of the phenomenon stems from its eventual cessation.

As the Moon gradually moves away from Earth, total eclipses will cease to occur at a certain juncture. This distance will result in the apparent diameter of the Moon no longer aligning with the apparent size of the Sun.

Josina remarks that the Moon is currently receding from Earth at a pace of approximately 4 centimeters per year, indicating a relatively slow process.

“We can take solace in the fact that it will be approximately 600 million years before total solar eclipses become a thing of the past,” he assures.

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