A solar eclipse occurs when the moon falls exactly between the sun and the earth. The shadow of the moon falls on the sun and stops the suns rays from falling on the earth.
The longest solar eclipses occur when the Earth is at aphelion (farthest from the Sun, making the solar disc smaller) and the Moon is at perigee (closest to the Earth, making the Moons apparent diameter larger).
Stages in a Total Solar Eclipse Baily's Beads: Baily's beads are bead-like bursts of light that appear about 15 seconds before and after totality during a solar eclipse.
Diamond Ring:The "Diamond Ring" is a large burst of light that appears a few seconds before and after totality.
Totality: Totality is the short part of an eclipse when the moon entirely blocks the sun. Totality usually lasts for just a few minutes.
(Source of images: Wikipedia.org)
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