On August 21 this year, about 154 million people from the United States carefully watched the highly-anticipated solar eclipse. If you were one of them, you surely know how rare and amazing these phenomena are. Also, you are probably wondering when are we going to witness another such incredible event. Well, the next year will bring a lot of them so, get ready to rejoice.
It’s important to note that a maximum of seven solar and lunar eclipses can take place over one year. The last time that happened was in 1982. On the other hand, the smaller number of eclipses that can occur is four. It seems that 2018 is going to bring us three solar eclipses, all of them partial, and two total lunar eclipses. But to fully understand how special these events truly are, you need to know how eclipses happen.
The solar and lunar eclipses of 2018
A solar eclipse takes place only when there’s a new moon, like it happened on August 21. The disk of the moon passes directly in front of our planet. It blocks out the Sun and has the moon’s shadow fall on Earth. Meanwhile, a lunar eclipse only happens when there’s full moon. That time, our natural satellite passes through the planet’s shadow. Surely, it’s important to note that such events don’t happen every time there’s a new or full moon. It all depends on the degree of the lunar orbit at a specific time.
Lunar eclipses come in three types: total, penumbral and partial. This depends on how deeply the full moon journeys into the Earth’s umbra, its central shadow. Everyone on the planet can see a lunar eclipse, as long as the sky is clear.
As for the five eclipses of 2018, those will happen on January 31st, a total lunar eclipse, and on February 15, a partial solar eclipse. The other will take place on July 13, July 27 and finally, on August 11, a partial solar eclipse.
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