Howes Unit 1 Webquest.docx - Maggie Howes 1 What is...

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Maggie Howes 1. What is totality and how large is it? Totality is when the moon entirely covers the sun from our point of view. A total solar eclipse only covers a small path as it moves across Earth. However the moon is far enough away in that path to totally block out the sun, even though its diame - ter is 400 times smaller than that of the sun. 2. Explain the relative sizes and distances from earth of the sun and moon as described in the movie. The Moon is relatively 400 times smaller than the sun. But it is also about 400 times closer making it appear about the same size in our sky as the sun. 3. How often on average do we have total solar eclipses? Explain the details of why this is the case. On average total solar eclipses occur every 18 months. Even though the moon passes between the sun and Earth every month its shadow does not always cross the Earth. This is because the moon’s orbit is slanted, meaning for the most part its shadow is above or below the Earth. 4. How long will we continue to see total solar eclipses? Why is that the case? We will continue to see total solar eclipses until the sun becomes a red giant. This will happen in a few billion years. We stop see -
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Maggie Howes ing eclipses because the moon is also moving away from us this will occur in about a billion years. 5. Describe the terms umbra and penumbra including relative size and dark - ness. The umbra during an eclipse is the darker shadow where totality can be observed. The umbra creates a path of totality across Earth about 70 miles across. The closer to the middle the longer you can observe totality. The penumbra is
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