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Here%27s+How+To+Watch+The+Spectacular+Total+Solar+Eclipse+That%27s+Happening+Tuesday
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 - 12:13
Here's How To Watch The Spectacular Total Solar Eclipse That's Happening Tuesday
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On Tuesday, the celestial event of the year will take place: a total eclipse of the sun, which happens when the Moon passes between Earth and the sun, blocking the sun from view.

This is the only total solar eclipse we'll see this year, but sadly for the US, only people in certain parts of Southeast Asia will witness the total eclipse.

Others in parts of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and America Samoa will experience a partial solar eclipse, when the moon eclipses part of the sun.

Though the rest of us cannot observe this spectacular event firsthand, NASA and the Slooh Community Observatory will be hosting live coverage of the eclipse.

The map below, from TimeandDate.com, reveals who will see the eclipse. The thin, dark blue line stretching through Southeast Asia and making its way across the Pacific marks who will see a total solar eclipse, whereas the rest of the shaded regions show who will see a partial eclipse.

What's going on in space?

The reason only a small part of the world can see a total eclipse at one time is because the moon is about the same size in our sky as the sun.

Therefore, when the moon passes directly between Earth and the sun, it casts a small shadow on Earth. There are two parts to this shadow, called the penumbra and the umbra, shown below:

If you are standing underneath that penumbra, you will witness a partial solar eclipse, but if you're underneath the much smaller umbra, then you get the rare treat of experiencing a total eclipse of the sun.

Remember that no one should look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse without proper equipment, as it can damage the eyes.

Because the moon orbits Earth, both the penumbra and umbra move across the face of our planet during an eclipse. On Tuesday, the shadow will traverse across 8,800 miles, stretching from just west of Southeast Asia all the way past Hawaii, foreign media reports.







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