According to the dictionary, and eclipse is “the total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another.” This means when one thing in space moves in front of another, hiding it. We on Earth experience a few different kinds of eclipses. Two main types of eclipse that you might observe are a Solar Eclipse and a Lunar Eclipse. We call it a Solar Eclipse when the moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, hiding the Sun from our view. A Lunar Eclipse is when the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow that hides the Moon from our view.
On Monday, August 21, the Earth is going to experience a total solar eclipse— The Great American Total Solar Eclipse. The last time the contiguous United States experienced a total solar eclipse was in 1979, and it won’t happen again until 2024 when Texas and Mexico will be on the path of totality! The Path of Totality refers to all of the places and cities that will be able to see the sun fully eclipsed by the moon. Lots of other areas are able to see varying degrees of a partial eclipse, depending on how close they are to the path of totality. One important thing to remember is that even though it is being eclipsed by the moon, this is still the Sun we are talking about, and you should never look directly at the Sun because it can burn your retinas and cause blindness!
In today’s Let’s Make It, learn how to use a simple shoebox to view the eclipse in a safe way!
Click HERE to download this activity as a printable PDF.