Word for Wednesday: Eclipse

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On Friday 20th March a solar eclipse was witnessed across much of the globe and in some parts the effect was a total blackout. Watch from 2:12 of this video. Spectacular!

An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when one celestial body obscures another. Eclipse is a Middle English word (eclips) originating from the Old French e(s)clipse , the Latin eclipsis and the Greek ekleipsis, meaning 'to leave out, forsake, fail to appear'.

Apparently the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon. The moon is 400 times closer to the earth than the sun, and has the same size as the sun when viewed from the planet Earth. Therefore when the moon comes in-between the sun and the earth a ‘Solar Eclipse’ occurs.

The next partial eclipse visible in the UK will not occur until August 2026, and the next total eclipse not until September 2090. Looking forward already.

Hugh MacDermott

25 Mar 2015
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