The Shadow of the Moon

Part of the Astronomers' Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)

So far, although we have discussed precisely how eclipses occur, we have only looked at the circumstances from a position in space, i.e. by examining the relative positions of Sun, Earth and Moon from afar. We have also discussed the parts of the solar atmosphere that we can see while the Moon is hiding the Sun. But, for me, one of the most breathtaking events at a solar eclipse is what happens to the twilight eclipse sky (see Fig. 3.1) in that last minute before second contact, when it is as if the Gods are turning down a huge light dimmer in the sky. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It is the approach of the edge of the shadow of the Moon, speeding towards you at, typically, around 2,000 km/h.


Solar Eclipse Total Solar Eclipse Track Edge Total Eclipse Shadow Edge 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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