What is an eclipse?

An eclipse is a special astronomical event that occurs when shadow of a celestial body falls on other. We know that light cannot pass through any opaque object. So, if light falls on one side of such an object, a shadow is formed at the other side of it. The Sun is the only star in the solar system and it has its own light but the Earth (planet) and the Moon (Earth’s satellite) are two non luminous opaque bodies. These are illuminated by the light of the Sun. We also know that both the Earth and the Moon revolve along their own orbits. During this revolution the Earth and the Moon may appear in a straight line along with the Sun. This is the basic phenomenon for an eclipse. We can observe two types of eclipses, which occur on the basis of the relative positions of these three celestial bodies. The two types of eclipses are solar eclipse and lunar eclipse.

Fifth Grade

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