One day, a long time ago, people were working and living on a regular basis when the Sun slowly disappeared! The people thought that a dragon had swallowed the Sun. They believed that if they
were loud enough the dragon would spit it back up. So everyone started screaming and trying to be as loud as they possibly could, and as they had thought, they started to see the Sun again. Eventually, the whole Sun could be seen again. After that, the people were pretty sure that it was a dragon that had swallowed the Sun, so every time this happened they would just yell and be loud until they could see all of the Sun once again. Could that really be possible? Do you think this is all just a myth gone a bit too far, or is there something in the Sunís way blocking it?
What is an Eclipse?
Anything can be eclipsed because light causes eclipses. Since light travels in a straight line, when something is in between the rays from a light source and another object, the light hitting the object in between will bounce off in many directions. Then the rays of light will never have a chance to get to the other object. The object in between would create a shadow on the other object behind it, which would make it so you canít see it until light hits it.
What are the Differences Between Lunar and Solar Eclipses?
A solar eclipse is when the Moon blocks the sunlight from hitting Earth. A lunar eclipse is when the Earth blocks the sunlight from hitting the Moon. During a lunar eclipse, the Moon is being eclipsed, and during a solar eclipse, the Sun is being eclipsed.
What Are the Moon Phases?
Moon Phases are the placements of the Moon. Every twenty-nine and a half days, the Moon orbits around the Earth, which means the Moon will go through all of its phases. At least half of the Moon is always lit up while the other half remains in the darkness even during an eclipse. The Sun affects these changes by the way itís hitting the Moon. The phases are the new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter, and everything in between.
What is a New Moon?
When the Sun, the Moon, and Earth are lined up in this order, a new moon will occur. The Moon will appear dark at this time because the half facing the Sun is lit up, and the half facing the Earth is dark.
What is a Full Moon?
When the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are lined up in this order, a full moon will occur. The Moon will appear as a whole circle because the light from the Sun is hitting the side of the Moon that is facing Earth.
How Can You Stare at a Solar Eclipse Safely?
you stare at the Sun or a solar eclipse for five seconds, your retina can be
damaged. A damaged retina may lead
to blindness. To look at a solar
eclipse, you can create a pinhole projector!
A pinhole projector is a way you can look at a solar eclipse without
looking directly at it. You can
make one with a pin and two pieces of cardboard about a foot long.
Then poke a tiny hole in the middle of one of the pieces of cardboard
with a pin. You can make sure where
the middle is by taking a ruler and measuring six inches on each side of the
piece of cardboard. Then connect
all the lines to the middle, and mark the middle with an X.
Then you can poke a hole in the middle of the X.
With your back to the Sun, put the piece of cardboard with the hole in it
by your shoulder, and put the other piece of cardboard out in front.
The sunlight will go through the hole and create an image onto the other
piece of cardboard. The image will
be upside-down, though. You can
change the size of the image by changing the distance between the two pieces of
Interesting Eclipse Facts. </J0112188/interesting_eclipse_facts.htm> Last visited: February 2002.
Moon Phases. </J0112188/moon_phases.htm> Last visited: February 2002.
Ropeik, David. The Reason For The Redness. <http://www.msnbc.com/news/356781.asp?cpl=l> Last visited: February 2002.
Safe Sun-Viewing The Solar Eclipse. <http://www.rnib.org.uk/whatsnew/pressrel/eclipse.htm> Last visited: March 2002.
Space in the Spotlight Novi Meadows Elementary 2002
All pictures courtesy of NASA unless otherwise noted