Solar Eclipse

(Last edited: Wednesday, 9 August 2023, 11:32 AM)

Short Definition
A solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the new moon is positioned between the Sun and Earth. A solar eclipse is visible when the Moon’s surface covers the Sun fully or partially casts a shadow on Earth.

Detailed Definition

A solar eclipse is a natural process during which the Sun is completely or partially obscured by the Moon's surface, creating a shadow over Earth. However, this shadow is not large enough to be visible from all parts of the world in the same way. For this reason, each successive solar eclipse can be observed from different sides of Earth, but never in all places at once.

We distinguish four types of solar eclipses:

1. A partial eclipse occurs when the Moon only partially eclipses the Sun.
2. An annular eclipse occurs when the entire Moon is not large enough to conceal the entire Sun. In this case, a ring of light can be observed around the shadow.
3. A total eclipse occurs when the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon. This can only be seen when the Moon is closest to Earth and only where the Moon’s shadow is the darkest.
4. An annular total eclipse (also called a hybrid eclipse) occurs when during the same eclipse it changes from the annular eclipse to the total eclipse or the other way around. This is the rarest type from all of those phenomena.


Eclipse (Noun), originated from ancient Greek ἔκλειψις (ékleipsis) which means “the abandonment” or “the darkening of a heavenly body”.

Sample Sentence(s)

A solar eclipse cannot be visible from all the places on Earth all at once.

Translations of Terms/Concepts into Partner Languages

Éclipse solaire


Eclissi solare

Zaćmienie Słońca


Links to Videos/Articles:

Hocken, V. (n.d.), What Are Solar Eclipses?, Retrieved from
NASA Science SpacePlace Explore Earth and Space (n.d.), What Is Solar Eclpise?, Retrieved from
Dobrijevic, D. (n.d.), What is a solar eclipse?, Retrieved from
Online Etymology Dictionary (n.d.), eclipse (n.), Retrieved from
Online Etymology Dictionary (n.d.), solar (adj.), Retrieved from
ESA (2015), Europe’s solar eclipse seen from Proba-2, Retrieved from  

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