Solar Eclipse on Aug 21, 2017

There is a major eclipse over much of North America in August 2017. The sun will go dark during the day right in the middle of a cloudless day. An eclipse is when one object completely blocks another. If you’re big on vocabulary words, the word that describes this as a syzygy (sizz-uh-gee), which is a straight line of three objects like the Earth, Moon, and Sun.

It just so happens that the Sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than the Moon, but the Moon is 400 times closer than the Sun. This makes the Sun and Moon appear to be about the same size (about the size of a quarter held at arm’s length). This is also why the eclipse thing is such a big deal for our planet.

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon blocks the Sun’s light. Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth is in the middle and makes the moon look strange. Lunar eclipses last hours, whereas solar eclipses last only minutes.

Here’s a video about what an eclipse is, how to view the eclipse even if you’re not on the path of totality, and how to make an eclipse in your house:

To go further, I recommend the following experiments!


2 Responses to “Solar Eclipse on Aug 21, 2017”
  1. Aurora says:

    What web browser are you using? I have it playing over here in Firefox and Chrome without any problems. Send me a screenshot:

  2. Sharon Russo says:

    We are trying to watch the Solar Astronomy Class & half the screen is cut off because there is a blue block that says Solar Astronomy.

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