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Solar Eclipse 2020; Ring Of Fire All You Need To Know

Humans have recorded solar eclipses for millions, and witnesses to them can be found in some of the earliest texts of ancient humans, for example, ancient Chinese academic documents. The debate even rotate around a line from homer’s odyssey, “the sun has been demolished by the sky”, and whether it can be bind to a momentous eclipse.

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From the ages, the sudden darkening of the sun has been seen as a signal of the anger of the gods or a hint and sign or forecast of bad things to come. But as astronomers figured out how solar eclipses occurred, the whole scene changes, and this became events to be studied and celebrated.

How Solar Eclipse Work:

Solar eclipses occur only during a new moon when the moon comes between the earth and the sun. As the moon orbit is at a slight angle from the earth, the three bodies will only rarely line up in the same plane to create event solar eclipse.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon is in just the right position to cast a shadow on our planet for a shorter time. As the moon moves forward and the earth spins, this shadow hurry across the earth’s surface at some 1,400 miles an hour, creating a narrow line called the path of totality.  Part of the world, typically 10,000 miles long and just 100 miles wide, experience a total solar eclipse. People near this range can only experience a solar eclipse, while those farther away cannot see change at all.

Precaution is Necessary to View Solar Eclipse by Naked Eye:

Seeing a solar eclipse can be a striking and catching experience, but experts advise caution. Looking directly at the sun with your naked eyes is highly dangerous, or through unprotected telescopes or binoculars is not safe too, because it can cause eye damage and even permanent blindness. Special eclipse glasses, allow you to view the phenomenon safely because it filters out the sun’s most damaging rays. Pinhole cameras can let you see a solar eclipse indirectly

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Following the Path of Totality:

A total solar eclipse begins as a barely noticeable peck out of the sun. Over the next hour or so, the darkness spreads gradually and eventually hide the solar disk, turning the blue sky into black. This state, called totality. It can last a maximum for seven and a half minutes, in some cases, it is usually less than this. During totality, some stars and planets become visible on the sky of earth, the temperature drops of atmosphere, and animals from insects to cows changes their behavior. This brief phase of change is the only time safe to look at an eclipse with your naked eyes.

The only visible part of the sun during totality is its outer ring, the faint and normally unseen during normal days that shimmers in the darkness like a ring of fire. Astronomers can use solar eclipses to review the corona from the bottom, gathering clues to its behavior which will at some point help solve the mystery of why the sun’s upper layer is actually hotter than its surface.

In 1919 sir Arthur Eddington’s struggled to watch a total solar eclipse from the island of the west coast of Africa, to confirm Einstein’s general theory of relativity. According to Einstein’s work, gravity from massive objects warp the web of space-time and then bend light.

Eddington realized that a total solar eclipse would provide the perfect test lab for this theory of relatively light coming from much more distant stars should get bent ever so slightly because it passes by the sun, and therefore the eclipse would allow scientists to ascertain stars close enough to the sun’s edge to detect this minuscule change. The experiment was a hit, and news of the result helped launch Einstein into scientific stardom.

A rare event

Total solar eclipses are only visible on earth because of a lucky fortune: the moon’s distance from the earth makes its size just big enough to cover the sun’s disk. If the moon were smaller or somewhat near to earth, we would see only partial eclipses. In fact, measurements of the distance between the earth and the moon show that our celestial companion is slowly twirling away from us, and in a billion years or more, the moon will have floating so far from earth that total solar eclipses will no longer occur.

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Moreover, the moon’s orbit around the earth is not perfectly round, and its precise distance changes with each orbital cycle. Even today, sometimes the moon’s apparent size is too small to completely cover the sun’s disk during an eclipse. When this happens, we see it is called an annular eclipse, also show a ring of fire. In this case, the moon appears as a blackened circle whose ends are emitting sunlight. Even during its total phase, it’s not safe to view the eclipse without proper eye protection.

Total solar eclipses occur every year or every two years, on average, and partial and annular eclipses are slightly more frequent. Because solar eclipses are visible from such a little area on earth each time, whenever the prospect of observing one from any single spot is a smaller amount than once during a lifetime.

Important Precautions One Must Consider:

 Orders by NASA of do’s and don’ts for viewing the eclipse:

  • Do not look directly at the sun with naked eyes.
  • Do not use homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark sunglasses to view the eclipse.
  • Use only special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, to view the phenomenon.
  • Read and follow the filter instructions and supervise your children to save them from severe injury.
  • In any stage of the eclipse, do not view the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devices, and never use solar filters with these devices to see, as concentrated ultraviolet solar rays will damage these devices and may cause serious eye injury.
  • Properly check out your solar filter before use; if it is scratched or damaged, destroy the filters completely.

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