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Minggu, 06 Juni 2010

Solar eclipse

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An eclipse of the sun can occur only when the moon is new-when it is between the earth and the sun.If the orbits of the earth and moon were at their minimum distance apart,an eclipse would occur every month.It does not occur that aften because the moon's orbit is inclined about 5 degress to the earth's or farther from the earth as revolves.This is important, as the average length of the moon's Shadow is 232,000 miles,but its distance from teh earth averages 235,000 miles.An eclipse cannot occur under average conditions.

However ,because of variations in its orbit ,the moon's shadow is sometimes longer and its distance from the earth sometimes shorter.If this occur at the time of a new moon,we have an eclipse are calculated years in advance.At any one place the duration of totality varies.In the eclipse of June 22,1955,it was unusually long-over 7 minutes.

You will see total eclipse when the true shadow (umbra) of the moon passes over you.The umbra produces a round shadow,never more than 170 miles in diameter,which travels rapidly over the earth.The penumbra ,which surrounds the umbra like an inverted cone , does not completely exclude the sunlight and hence gives only a partial forms a circle about 4,000 miles in diameter arround the umbra.Observers in the path of totality, red prominences appear.The weirdly darkened sky is lit up by the streaming sorona , which may extend over a million miles from the sun's surface.Nothing is as inspiring and awesome as the few minutes of totality.Then a bead of sunlight breaks through on the opposite side of the darkened disc,and ,after repeating the parial, the eclipse is over.

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