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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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- Fall '10
- Astronomy, New Moon, Ecliptic