In the dance that the Solar System performs approximately twice a year, the right physical conditions are created for the Sun, Earth and Moon to align perfectly in space, creating solar or lunar eclipses.

In this year, Annular solar eclipse on October 14 will be visible from the Earth’s surfaceThe New Moon will pass right in front of the solar disk and come between us and the king star. World observers last had the chance to observe the annular solar eclipse two years ago, on June 10, 2021.

Over a period of several hours, the Moon’s disk passed in front of the Sun’s disk and partially blocked its light. This is exactly what will happen on October 14 this year, offering millions of viewers from the Americas (including us Brazilians) the chance to see this beautiful phenomenon. Do you know the science behind it?

Different types of solar eclipses

annular solar eclipse It is one of three types that can be formed as a result of the exact intersection of the positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun.. A total solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon is perfectly aligned between the Earth and the Sun, completely blocking the sun’s disk and therefore all of its light (except that coming from the corona, the outer layer of the sun’s atmosphere). landscape in pitch darkness

A partial solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon blocks only part of the sunlight, casting a partial shadow on the Earth’s surface, is the most common type and can be observed from larger areas of the planet, and finally,

And annular solar eclipse, An event that occurs when the Moon is farthest from Earth in its elliptical orbit. and therefore does not completely cover the Sun, leaving a thin, bright frame of visible sunlight around the Moon that can be seen like a “ring of fire”.

The “ring of fire” will be visible in only a few selected places on Earth on October 14, by lucky observers on the so-called “annular path.” Other observers in the shadow of the event will be able to observe the partial solar eclipse.

Annular eclipse over the United States.

This annular eclipse heralds that a total solar eclipse will occur on our planet just 6 months later, on April 8, 2024. Called the Great North American Solar Eclipse. But make no mistake, this is not just a coincidence!

This becomes a necessary conclusion when we combine the orbital motion of the Moon around the Earth, the motion of the Earth around the Sun, and the laws of gravity that determine the motion of both!

Role of Earth orbit

Although assuming circular orbits of the Earth around the Sun and the Moon around the Earth can satisfactorily explain such phenomena as the 24 hours of the day, the phases of the Moon, the seasons, and some other astronomical phenomena, there is a problem that arises. From this simplification: if these orbits were actually completely circular, Each month, when the Moon was in its new phase, it would pass between the Sun and the Earth, creating a solar eclipse. When the moon was in its full moon phase, it would fall into the Earth’s shadow, creating a lunar eclipse.

Representation of the different orbital planes of Earth-Sun and Earth-Moon.

This of course does not happen. The reason why these celestial events are relatively rare is that the Earth’s orbit around the Sun occurs in one plane (as on one sheet of paper) and the Moon’s orbit around the Earth occurs in a different plane (on another sheet of paper). paper): Paper that makes a smaller but significant angle of about 5.2 degrees relative to the Sun-Earth plane.

Although this may seem like a very small angle, it is quite large compared to the angular size of the Moon or Sun in the sky, which is only about half a degree. Therefore, the Moon is almost always completely “above” or “below” the Earth-Sun plane, making eclipses impossible during these periods.

But patience being a virtue, eventually the Moon will move in and out of the Earth-Sun plane twice a month in its orbit around the Earth. And twice a year (one on each side of the Earth-Sun orbit) it happens that the Moon dips into the Earth-Sun plane during its new and full phases.

These events Where both planes are aligned are favorable conditions for an eclipse to occur: If the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth (i.e. in full phase), conditions will be suitable for a lunar eclipse; If the Moon and the Sun are on the same side of the Earth (i.e. in the new phase), conditions will be suitable for a solar eclipse.

Never look at the Sun without adequate protective equipment.

Mark your calendar and remember: On October 14, an annular/partial solar eclipse will occur in the skies of many countries in America, including Brazil. For Brazilians living in areas of the states of Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará and Paraíba, this phenomenon will be null, for others it will be partial and will be best seen by observers in the North and Northeast of the country.

The event will take place Around 3pm Brazilian timeBut stay tuned! It is not safe to look directly at the Sun without special eye protection for viewing the Sun during the event!

Source: Tec Mundo

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I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


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