So, once again, I missed the solar eclipse (the last one I missed was in 1999 when I had the opportunity to see it on holiday in Tunisia but decided to carry on playing on the hotel’s arcade machine).
For those who don’t know what a solar eclipse is, it’s when the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun, casting a shadow over Earth in the process. It can only happen during the phase of a new moon but not every new moon. But different factors affect what kind of eclipse you get (more on that later), including:
- A total solar eclipse (as opposed to a total eclipse of the heart)
- A partial solar eclipse
- An annular solar eclipse
Today’s was an annular eclipse meaning the sky gets a little darker and lasts no longer than 12.5 minutes. It’s like a cousin of a partial eclipse and they aren’t as rare as total eclipses.
- Solar eclipses: When is the next one?
- What Are Total Solar Eclipses?
- Solar eclipse 2021: ‘Ring of fire’ to sweep across the Earth
- In pictures: Solar eclipse as seen from the UK
- Solar eclipse 2021: UK skygazers enjoy view of crescent sun
- A tweet from NASA
- Detailed eclipse explanations and predictions
- Five Millennium (−1999 to +3000) Canon of Solar Eclipses Database
- Wikiversity has a solar eclipse lab that students can do on any sunny day