Great Videos to Watch

Solar Eclipse Explanation for Kids Video

PBS Crash Course on Eclipses Video

Earth’s Rotation & Revolution for Kids Video

Educational Information Links from NASA

NASA Wavelength: Educator Resources for Earth and Space Education (K-12)

NASA Eclipse: Educator Resources for Eclipse related Activities (K-12)

NASA Eclipse Activities

NASA Night Sky Network: Astrology Clubs near you!

NASA Eclipse Education

What Is a Total Solar Eclipse?

Next Total Solar Eclipse: Mon, Aug 21, 2017
Next Eclipse: Partial Lunar Eclipse – Mon, Aug 7, 2017

Total solar eclipses occur when the New Moon comes between the Sun and Earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow, the umbra, on Earth. The darkest part of the eclipse, the totality, is almost as dark as night.

During a total eclipse of the Sun, the Moon covers the entire disk of the Sun. In partial and annular solar eclipses, the Moon blocks only part of the Sun.

Here is how YOUR Personal eclipse will happen:

Eclipses are named after their darkest phase. If a solar eclipse is total at any point on Earth, it is called a total solar eclipse, even though it's seen as a partial solar eclipse in most areas.

5 Phases (will last approximately 2.75 hours depending on your location)


Partial eclipse begins (1st contact:) The Moon starts becoming visible over the Sun's disk. The Sun looks as if a bite has been taken from it.


Total eclipse begins (2nd contact:) The entire disk of the Sun is covered by the Moon. Observers in the path of the Moon's umbra may be able to see Baily's beads and the diamond ring effect, just before totality.


Totality and maximum eclipse: The Moon completely covers the disk of the Sun. Only the Sun's corona is visible. This is the most dramatic stage of a total solar eclipse. At this time, the sky goes dark, temperatures can fall, and birds and animals often go quiet. The midpoint of time of totality is known as the maximum point of the eclipse. Observers in the path of the Moon's umbra may be able to see Baily's beads and the diamond ring effect, just after totality ends.


Total eclipse ends (3rd contact:) The Moon starts moving away, and the Sun reappears.


Partial eclipse ends (4th contact:) The Moon stops overlapping the Sun's disk. The eclipse ends at this stage in this location.

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Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017