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The Great American Solar Eclipse

1 Sep 2017, 15:01 UTC
The Great American Solar Eclipse
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By Peri Jones
On the 21st August 2017, the Moon covered the Sun in the sky across America for the first time in 26 years. For the past few years, ‘America 2017’ had been a common topic in the Jones household. Once the flights were booked, there was no turning back. Find out what a total solar eclipse is, how it happens and what it’s like to experience it with your own eyes.
Credit to NASA
A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves across the Sun and blocks out the sunlight reaching the Earth. However, this only happens in a few areas on Earth and this year it was happening across the USA. Solar eclipses can be found across the planet once every 18 months or so. This phenomenon happens due to the perfect ratio of the Sun’s distance and diameter (width) with the Moon’s diameter and distance from the Earth. Just as a reminder, the Moon travels around the Earth every 27 days and the Earth moves around the Sun every 365 days. But why don’t we have an eclipse every 27 days? And why does it happen in a different location on Earth each time?
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