The 8 types of eclipses (and how to recognize them)

The stars and their movements have been a source of surprise and reverence since ancient times by human beings, often associating them with spirituality and religion. One of the celestial phenomena which has fascinated us the most because it is infrequent and impressive, and which has always closed a great symbolism is that of eclipses.

Today, we already know how and why they are produced, although they still retain a certain romantic mysticism. Eclipses continue and will continue to occur in the future, in all their forms.

And this is it there are different types of eclipses. In order to learn how to identify them, throughout this article we will give a brief overview of the main types that we can see from our planet.

    What is an eclipse?

    We hear it as an eclipse of the celestial phenomenon in which at least three stars participate, and in which one of them interposes and aligns with the other two so as to hide one of them from view. the other.

    Its appearance is due to the orbit of the planets around the stars, as well as that of the satellites around the planets, Due to gravitational force.

    A meaning in mythology

    As we saw above, the eclipse it has been historically linked to the religious and the spiritual, Since the reasons why the stars disappear from view or were partially hidden were not known.

    For example, in Chinese mythology, eclipses occurred when a celestial dragon, dogs or even a toad devoured the Sun or the Moon, while the Egyptians saw in this celestial phenomenon the battle between the diodes Horus and Seth (being the loss of the star the result which the second will bring the eye to the first, being then returned by Ra) or the collapse of Ra’s boat from the serpent god Apep.

    Kingdoms like Siam or India also considered the stars to be devoured by gods or dragons. Also in pre-Columbian civilizations they were feared, Often making sacrifices to bring the Sun or Moon back to its place. Beliefs were numerous: from the star devoured to the effect of fights between divinities. The arrival of the Spaniards in South America soon after is also a solar eclipse, which contributed to the fact that they were initially taken by the gods.

    Eclipse type

    While there are a large number of types of eclipses that can occur from any planet, the ones that directly affect us are of two types: solar and lunar. We can also find another type of eclipse, that of the planet Venus.

    1. Solar eclipses

    We call a solar eclipse this cosmic phenomenon in which the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth, preventing the King of the Stars from being visible from our planet. These are usually the most spectacular and the ones that have meant the most to humanity. They should never be observed directly, Because even if the silhouette and the sunlight are not visible, the radiation can affect in the same way. We can find different types of solar eclipses.

    1.1. Total

    Total solar eclipses are those in which the Moon completely covers the sunlight, totally blocking his view of the Earth.

    1.2. Partial

    A partial solar eclipse occurs when only part of the Moon aligns between the Earth and the Sun, causing part of the Sun to be visible while part of the rest is blocked by our satellite.

    1.3. To cancel

    This type of solar eclipse is caused by the fact that although the Moon interposes itself between the Earth and the Sun blocking the vision of the second, its smaller size and the separation between the Moon and the Earth. makes that even if the solar disk is covered by the Moon, you still see a ring of the sun around it. The resulting vision would be the prototype of the Moon with a hoop and crown of light, as if the center of the Sun had turned black.

    1.4. hybrid

    One of the rarest, the hybrid solar eclipse occurs when the alignment between the three celestial bodies means that in different parts of the globe we can see a total eclipse while in others a partial eclipse.

    2. Lunar eclipses

    Lunar eclipses occur when there is alignment between the Sun, Earth, and Moon, place our planet between the Sun and the Moon and block the passage of sunlight to our satellite. There are three main types of lunar eclipses.

    2.1. Total

    The total lunar eclipse occurs when our planet completely blocks sunlight from reaching the moon. By the way, the Moon gradually darkens until it disappears completely in the shadow cone cast by the Earth. Soon after, he slowly returns to review.

    2.2. Partial

    The partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is not completely covered by the Earth or the shadow cone cast by our planet does not obscure its entire vision.

    2.3. Penumbral

    In penumbra eclipses, the Moon is never covered by the shadow cone that our planet casts as it aligns between it and the Sun, although it does pass through the penumbra area. This do that although it remains visible, its color darkens to a large extent.

    2.4. Venusian eclipse: the transit of Venus

    While we generally don’t consider eclipses in general, the truth is that either other stars can interpose and align between the Earth and the Sun.. This is what happens with the so-called transit of Venus, in which our neighboring planet is located between the Sun and the Earth.

    However the great distance between the Earth and Venus compared to that existing with the Moon, in addition to the relatively small size of this planet compared to ours, makes this type of eclipse very little noticeable, the whole covering just a small point of the Sun. .

    Moreover, this type of eclipse is very rare, repeating itself in sequences: 105.5 years, then another at 8 years, then another at 121.5 years and then another 8, in a cycle of 243 years. The last date of 2012 and the next should take place in 2117.

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