Solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to the position of the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun. Solar eclipse occurs quite frequent every year but the type of eclipse and the location where it occurs is different. This is due to the position of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth are varies throughout each year and even every day.
What does eclipse means?
In the Arabic word, eclipse are given with two words in order to differentiate between solar eclipse and lunar eclipse. For solar eclipse, the term used is كسوف pronounced as “Kusuf”. The meanings are sorrow, covered, pieces, hard and pale. For lunar eclipse, it is referred as خسوف pronounced as “Khusuf”. The meanings are entered, disappeared, splitting, insult, decreased, dark and hunger.
In English word, the word eclipse is originated from a latin word which is eclipsis refers from a Greek word ekleipsis that means ‘an abandoment’, ‘a failing’ or ‘foresaking’. The original word are combination of the word “ek” which means out and “leipin” which means to leave.
Types of Solar Eclipse
There are 4 types of solar eclipses which are Total Solar Eclipse, Annular Solar Eclipse, Hybrid Solar Eclipse and Partial Solar Eclipse.
Total Solar Eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon is at perigee and between the Earth and the Sun. Due to this, the Moon blocks the sunlight from reaching certain places on Earth. There is only a small portion of the Earth experiencing Total Solar Eclipse when the place is in the path of totality. During Total Solar Eclipse we can see prominence and corona of the Sun.
Eclipse Path, the thin red line is where 100% Total Solar Eclipse occurs.
Annular Solar Eclipse
Annular Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon is at apogee and between the Earth and the Sun. As the Moon do not blocks the Sun totally, some of the sunlight falls on the Earth and the Sun will looks like a ring in the sky. We need to use solar filter for this eclipse phenomenon because the Moon does not blocks the sunlight entirely.
Hybrid Solar Eclipse
Hybrid Solar Eclipse, where all the 3 different eclipse can be seen. (Images by Telok Kemang Observatory)
Direction of Moon’s orbit. (credit: timeanddate.com)
Hybrid Solar Eclipse is a rare phenomenon of solar eclipse. This is where at certain place on Earth, Annular Solar Eclipse can happen, Total Solar Eclipse can happen and Partial Solar Eclipse can happen. This phenomenon occurs due to the curvature of the Earth as the Moon orbits the Earth and it blocks the sunlight at the places that it moves. If the umbra shadow of the Moon falls on Earth, that place will experience Total Solar Eclipse. If the penumbra shadow of the Moon falls on Earth, that place will experience Partial Solar Eclipse. If the antumbra shadow of the Moon falls on Earth, that place will experience Annular Solar Eclipse. Antumbra is half –shadow that begins where the umbra shadow ends.
Position of the Umbra, Penumbra and Antumbra shadows. (credit: timeanddate.com)
Different distance, different solar eclipse event. (credit: timeanddate.com)
Partial Solar Eclipse
Partial Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun but the Moon only blocks almost half or half or more than half but not totally of the Sun. Depending where the location does the shadow of the Moon falls on Earth. We need to use solar filter for this eclipse phenomenon because the Moon does not blocks the sunlight entirely.
Solar Eclipse during the Time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
Here are the upcoming Solar Eclipse Phenomenon:
2001-2020 Solar Eclipses. (credit: NASA, Eclipse)
2021-2039 Solar Eclipses. (credit: NASA, Eclipse)