Why can we have solar eclipses? (Beginner)

sir, total solar eclipse occurs when moon blocks the sun light. but on ordinary days we see the size of moon to be smaller than that of sun . but on total eclipse the size of moon which we see is same as that of sun, so that it is able to block the sun completely. what is the reason does moon come closer to earth on that day . kindly give reply to my query. thanks.

The Moon always appears roughly the same size as the Sun even on days when we do not see eclipses. Its orbit is not perfectly circular so sometimes it is a tiny bit larger and sometime a tiny bit smaller. This is observed in some eclipses. The reason we do not have an eclipse every new moon is that normally the Moon passes just above or just below the Sun on the sky. It is only very rarely that they exactly line up to give a total solar eclipse.

This page was last updated June 28, 2015.

About the Author

Karen Masters

Karen Masters

Karen was a graduate student at Cornell from 2000-2005. She went on to work as a researcher in galaxy redshift surveys at Harvard University, and is now on the Faculty at the University of Portsmouth back in her home country of the UK. Her research lately has focused on using the morphology of galaxies to give clues to their formation and evolution. She is the Project Scientist for the Galaxy Zoo project.

Twitter:  @KarenLMasters
Website:  http://icg.port.ac.uk/~mastersk/

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