For much of the world, the last chance to catch an eclipse for awhile is about to happen.
This weekend’s partial solar eclipse will span across many countries in the Northern hemisphere on Saturday, Aug. 11 — becoming what could be the most widely viewed solar eclipse of 2018.
The eclipse kicks off at 5:46 a.m. E.T., and will be visible in Greenland before expanding toward Iceland, northern Europe, most of northern Russia and part of northern China, according to NASA. If the weather is good in the morning, when the eclipse starts (around 4:02 a.m. E.T.), then it may become the most viewed solar eclipse of the year. The wide path across parts of the Northern Hemisphere means much more people will be able to catch it than the July 13 partial solar eclipse. Even though it will be visible to a wider swath of the world, the August 11 eclipse still won’t be visible in the U.S.
In addition to potentially being the most viewed eclipse, the August 11 eclipse will also be the last eclipse — lunar or solar — of 2018. Eclipses happen approximately every 173 days during what’s called an eclipse season. According to NASA, twice a year, the moon’s orbit crosses paths with the sun’s orbit for 34 days when up to three eclipses can happen.
In 2018, the first eclipse was the super blue blood moon on Jan. 31 followed by a partial solar eclipse on the Feb. 15. The Aug. 11 eclipse marks the end of this eclipse season after two previous eclipses during the month of July. You’ll have to wait until Jan. 21, 2019 for the next eclipse. It will also be a supermoon.
To celebrate the last eclipse of the season, here’s everything you need to know to prepare for the August 11 partial solar eclipse.
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens when the moon comes between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on the planet. According to Space.com, because the moon is relatively smaller than Earth, the shadow is cast on a small area of the Earth’s surface. However, for those who can see it, during a total solar eclipse the moon will cover the sun, blocking out the visible light. The point at which the sun is totally blocked is called totality, and that can last from around 30 seconds to seven minutes.
During a partial solar eclipse, there is no totality because the moon will only cover a portion of the sun, according to NASA. Partial eclipses tend to look different — it can leave only a sliver of the sun visible, it can cover half of it can only cover a very small potion — depending on your location during the big celestial event.
A solar eclipse is basically the opposite of a lunar eclipse, like the one that happened on July 27. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between the moon …read more
Source:: Time – Science