What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse is when the moon completely – 100% – covers up the sun. This lasts for one or two minutes, and that brief time period is the only actual moment of the sun being totally eclipsed. It looks something like this:


In Dallas, we’ll be experiencing this totality for 1 minute and 57 seconds. During this time you won’t need to wear any eye protection, since the eclipsed sun won’t actually be any brighter than a full moon at night.

BUT – as soon as the sun comes back into view, put your glasses back on! By this point the moon will be moving away from the sun, uncovering its brightness bit by bit. And this part is pretty amazing too – before and after the the moment of totality you’ll experience a partial solar eclipse, here’s what that looks like:

partial eclipse.jpg

And here’s a helpful diagram:



If you’re curious for more, check out this link for a breakdown of the differences between lunar, partial, and total eclipses. And this link, for a more detailed and inspiring description of what a total solar eclipse is.

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