A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes directly between the earth and the sun and the moon’s shadow touches the earth.
Solar eclipse occurs only in a new moon. It does not take place in every month, because the orbit of the moon is inclined at an angle of about five degrees to the ecliptic.
How the solar eclipse occurs?
Our earth revolves around the sun and the moon revolves around the earth. Every 29.5396 days the moon comes in between the earth and the sun. The moon than obstructs the sunlight and casts its conical shadow. This shadow may or may not touch our earth. Whenever and wherever this shadow touches the earth solar eclipse occurs.
Why solar eclipse does not occur in every month?
As a matter of fact, there are some conditions for occurrence of a solar eclipse:
1) The moon should be between the sun and the earth. Roughly speaking, it occurs a day or two before new moon appears.
2) The sun, the moon and the earth should lie in a straight line. This happens twice during a lunar month at model Pontus. All the three do not always lie in the straight line. In that case shadow of the moon does not fall on the earth.
3) The distance between the moon and sun keeps on changing and, therefore also the length of the moon’s shadow.
4) The distance between the moon and the earth also changes. As such at the times the shadow of the moon may be too short to reach the earth. In such a case, annual eclipse takes place. The central portion of the sun is eclipsed and the remaining portion visible.
Total solar eclipse occurs on a day when the sun, the moon and the earth lie in a straight line and the lengths of the moon shadow is greatest and the distance between the moon and the earth is smallest. The circumstances which are responsible for a solar eclipse repeat themselves after an approximate period of 18 years and 10 1/3 days.
A practical observation
At 6-7 pm on June 30th 1954 the moon came in between the sun and the earth.
There was a sudden increase in the wind velocity. When the eclipse was over and the sun recovered, the high winds suddenly dropped down to their usual 8 miles per hour velocity.
Observers in the open, experts as well as amateur sky gazers said they felt tiredness and fatigue. The scientists explained: the moon had cut of solar energy giving infrared and ultra-violet rays.
The birds, the animals and plants, it was proved, started behaving rather in an unusual manner. The birds were seen flying haphazardly.
An interesting phenomenon was the improvement in wireless reception. The atmospheric disturbances died down completely and the reception was as perfect as it could be. (It is the sun-spots and the solar radiation that cause disturbances).
At places where the eclipse was almost complete the stars appeared over the sky. In the sun the temperature dropped considerably, but the temperature in the shade remained practically unchanged.
After the eclipse, the wind rose high and everything else started returning to normal. The tiredness and drowsiness of those who felt it was also gone. And on the radio the disturbances started again as usual. And the process of life came down to normal.
The like of the eclipse will not be seen throughout the earth for another 197 year. Partial eclipse occurs from time to time at varies places.
A total solar eclipse is of a very short duration ranging between seconds and a few minutes only. At one place a total solar eclipse may not take place for centuries.
At the time (which is accurately predicted) when solar eclipse occurs the moon starts to sweep across the sun. Whenever light comes to us at this time, it comes from the edge of the sun and it is of a different quality. Strange colors appear. The temperature falls and birds and animals feel perplexed.