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Partial Eclipse Definition

A partial eclipse occurs when the Sun is only partly covered by the Moon or Earth. For example, during a solar eclipse, some of Sun's light remains visible.

View Lesson on Solar & Lunar Eclipses
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Solar & Lunar Eclipses

Fun Facts

  • Partial solar eclipse occurs when Moon covers a portion of the Sun.
  • There are three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbral.
  • Partial lunar eclipse happens when Moon is partially in Earth's shadow.

Why Do We Need To Know About Partial Eclipse

Learning about partial eclipses helps us find planets beyond our solar system, which is important for jobs in studying space and exploring new planets. It helps scientists look for planets like Earth where life might exist, a key part of space research.

Knowing about eclipses is very useful in science and technology today. It helps us understand the universe better, clear up mysteries about space, and predict space events. This knowledge is also important for teaching, sharing science with others, and working in fields that involve talking to the public about space.

Frequently Asked Questions

If the Sun is so much larger in size than the Moon, why do they appear to be the same size?
The Moon is about 400 times smaller than the Sun and about 400 times closer to Earth. Those proportions cause the Sun and the Moon to look about the same size.
Why was it important that Dr. Jeff use a large ball to represent the Sun, a marble to represent Earth, and a bead to represent the Moon in his model?
Although all models have limitations, Dr. Jeff was trying to accurately represent the size of each object in the Earth-Sun-Moon system relative to one another.
How would the Earth-Sun-Moon system change if the Moon’s orbital plane weren’t tilted 5°?
We would have an increase in the number eclipses we can see because of the orbit of the Moon around Earth.
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