What is an Eclipse? Find out before Daylight becomes Twilight

An eclipse spread its shade from coast to coast of the United States of America in 1918. Now, for the first time in it’s history, just America will have an exclusive front row seat to a total eclipse. All of North America will share in one of nature’s most incredible events on Monday, August 21, 2017 – a total solar eclipse. The path of totality – where the moon will completely cover the sun – will allow scientists from around the world and curious citizens from every nation to get an incredibly rare look at the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

As the sky darkens from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina in a 70 mile wide swath on the ground, those gazing up at the light of the corona will examine its unique colors and textures. These characteristics change depending on the location of the observer, atmospheric effects, and even how well the observer’s own eyes can see. One person in the same field as another, may not even experience the same views of the eclipse.

That’s mind-blowing in itself, but how an eclipse actually happens can also be something hard to wrap one’s mind around. What is an eclipse and how exactly does an eclipse occur, and what exactly is the difference between a solar eclipse and lunar eclipse. Learn this and more in a Phoenix classic, “What is an Eclipse?”

Watch the iconic beauty of the time lapse video of the actual sun’s surface, with the whipping arcs of solar flares so often replicated in Hollywood movies. Find out what it means when these flares jut out of the sun at a stunning 75,000 miles from its surface, and what havoc it can cause on Earth – affecting our satellite and ground communications, changing our weather, and even altering the growth of plants.

The film explains why this event will be such a hotbed of interest to scientists doing all types of research. On August 21, 2017, during the roughly 2 minutes and 40 seconds duration of the eclipse, scientists will be able to scan the atmosphere of the sun, the corona, more accurately without the glare of the bright fires that usual for us in how we live our days.

While this is a classic film, the scientific basics stay eternally relevant. Answer questions like, if eclipses happen due to the path of the moon – what is the difference between a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse? Spoiler: It depends on where the earth is in conjunction with the moon and sun.

Or, for those impatient to see another eclipse after this one on August 21, 2017, or for those who remember the last total eclipse in 1979, and ask, why don’t these eclipses happen more often? Spoiler: It’s all about the orbits.

“What is an Eclipse?” offers easy to understand graphics, and a repeated explanation as a review. In less than ten minutes, teach an entire class what they’ll be seeing on the 21st, especially as 2 million people are living directly in the path of the total eclipse, and 220 million are living within a day’s drive, and everyone on the planet can live stream a video feed being sent by NASA on the day.

Bring clarity to this unique national and community event with “What is an Eclipse?” to your classroom today.