Eclipse Details - most 270 kilometers[168 miles in diameter...

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Eclipse Details: Solar Eclipse The Moon's shadow also has an umbra and penumbra, but its shadow is much smaller than the Earth's. Only if the Moon is in the ecliptic plane when it is exactly New Moon will the Moon's shadow hit the Earth. Where the umbra hits the Earth, you will see a total solar eclipse. Where the penumbra hits the Earth, you will see a partial solar eclipse. Select the image to get information about this image of the July 11, 1991 solar eclipse taken by Fred Espenak (will display in another window). In a total solar eclipse the bright disk of the Sun is completely covered up by the Moon and you can see the other parts of the Sun like the corona, chromosphere, and prominences. Unfortunately, only the tip of the Moon's umbra reaches the Earth (the tip hitting the Earth is at
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Unformatted text preview: most 270 kilometers [168 miles] in diameter) and it zips along the Earth's surface at over 1600 kph (1000 mph) as the Moon moves around the rotating Earth. This means that a total solar eclipse can last a maximum of only 7.5 minutes. Usually total solar eclipses last only 3-4 minutes. Because of the orbital motion of the Moon and the rotation of the Earth, the umbra makes a long, narrow path of totality. Sometimes the umbra does not reach the Earth at all (only the penumbra) even though the Moon is on the ecliptic and it is exactly in New Moon phase. A bright ring will be visible around the Moon when it is lined up with the Sun---an annular eclipse (because of the annulus or ring of light around the Moon)....
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