What is A Solar Eclipse?

What is a Solar Eclipse?

On April 8th, 2024 the New Moon will pass directly between The Sun and The Earth. From southern locations of Essex County including virtually all of the Lake Erie coast and a large portion of the Lake Ontario coast will see a Total Solar Eclipse.

What’s interesting and also a total coincidence is that the Sun is about 400 times larger diameter than our Moon, but also about 400 times further away! This has the effect that us Earthlings see both objects being about the same (angular) size in our sky. Because of that proportionality, it causes a relatively very narrow region on Earth to be completely in the Moons shadow – where the Moon fully blocks the sun and this is what we call a Total Solar Eclipse. The graphic above shows the instant that the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth for our area. As it travels, this shadow creates a path as the Earth rotates (and the Moon orbits) that we call ‘The Path of Totality’ or ‘The Path of the Total Solar Eclipse’.

V  Image via GreatAmericanEclipse.com

© 2023 The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Windsor Centre