What is a  solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is positioned between Earth and the sun and casts a shadow over Earth.

Solar eclipses only occur during a new moon phase, usually about twice a year, when the moon aligns itself in such a way that it eclipses the sun

There are four different types of solar eclipses depending on how the sun, moon and Earth are aligned at the time of the event:

Total solar eclipse:  The sun is fully obscured by the moon.

Partial solar eclipse The moon doesn't fully block the sun so only a portion of the sun is obscured. Here the moon appears to take a "bite" out of the sun

Annular solar eclipse: The moon is centered in front of the sun but doesn't cover the entirety of the surface (as seen in a total solar eclipse). A "ring of fire" shines around the moon.

Hybrid solar eclipse The rarest solar eclipse is a combination of a total and annular eclipse (sometimes known as an A-T eclipse) and is produced when the moon's shadow moves across Earth.

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