The Solar System

What are the different types of solar eclipses?
Answered by Science Channel
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  1. The moon's shadow is comprised of two parts: a central region called the umbra and an outer region called the penumbra. There are three types of solar eclipses:

    • Total -- The entire central section of the sun's surface is obstructed.
    • Partial -- Part of the sun's face is obstructed.
    • Annular -- A small segment of light is seen from the sun.

    During a total solar eclipse, the sky darkens and you may see the corona, the outer atmosphere of the sun. Astronomers wait eagerly for this rare chance to see the sun's corona. During a partial eclipse, the sky may darken somewhat, and during an annular eclipse, a ringlike slice of light may be seen. During a solar eclipse, it is dangerous to look at the sun directly; the safest way to view an eclipse is indirectly, by projecting the image onto another surface.

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