General Solar Eclipse Facts

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2017 Eclipse Taken By Konstantin

Here are some facts about what happens during a total solar eclipse, regardless of the length of totality, that will blow your mind! As long as there is totality, the eclipse will usher in these amazing changes to the environment.

During the eclipse, the daylight fades by a factor of nearly 10,000!

The longest possible duration of the total phase of a solar eclipse is 7 minutes 32 seconds. Unfortunately, the next solar eclipse with a totality approaching 7 minutes won’t occur until June 13, 2132. That eclipse, with a maximum duration of 6 minutes 55 seconds, will be the longest since the 7 minutes 4 seconds of totality experienced June 30, 1973.

Proper Eyewear meets ISO 12312-2 international standard for viewing

If you don’t have solar viewing or eclipse glasses, you can use an alternate indirect method, such as a pinhole projector.

Only safe time to look at the eclipse without eye protection is during totality. Wear protection all other times or else your eyesight will be damaged.

You can image the eclipse with only a camera and long DSLR lens

There will be no more total solar eclipses in about 600 million years, scientists say. Because of the moon’s slowly increasing orbit, NASA believes the moon will have moved far enough away from Earth in that timeframe that it will no longer be big enough to entirely cover the sun.

During the eclipse, totality can see temperature drop 10, 15, 20 degrees F

If you don’t have solar viewing or eclipse glasses, you can use an alternate indirect method, such as a pinhole projector.

Earth is the only planet in our solar system from which you can witness a perfect total solar eclipse

Solar and lunar eclipses happen in pairs

At any one location on Earth, it is much less common to see a solar eclipse than a lunar one. And the reason for this is entirely due to geometry.

The maximum number of solar eclipses (partial, annular, or total) is 5 per year, and there are at least 2 solar eclipses per year somewhere on the Earth.

Light filtering through leaves on trees casts crescent shadows as totality approaches.

Jean Meeus, a world-renowned expert on astronomical calculations, found that a random point on Earth sees either a total or annular eclipse on average every 140 years.

  • Nature responds to the eclipse differently depending on your location, as totality nears you may experience strange things. For example,
    • Shadows look different,
    • Any breeze will dissipate,
    • Birds will stop chirping,
    • During a total solar eclipse, some animals tend to act confused or prepare for sleep,
    • After a total solar eclipse, it takes about an hour before total day light is restored.

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