# What is the difference between a total solar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse?

Can any total solar eclipse be an annular eclipse? or is it vice versa?

Relevance

If Solar Eclipse happens when moon is closer to earth and hence can at least cover some area with complete darkness is Total Eclipse. However, when moon is quite distant and can't create complete darkness is Annular Solar Eclipse.

In Total Solar Eclipse, the sun is not at all visible, however, in Annular Solar Eclipse, sun is visible on complete circumference on moon.

As an analogous example: Suppose your friend (sun) is standing at a distance and observing your TV (earth). The more close you (moon) standing to your TV, more you can hide him from your friends view.

• lani
Lv 4
3 years ago

Annular Solar Eclipse Definition

The moon orbits around the earth in an eclipse and the earth around the sun likewise. Therefore the apparent sizes of the moon and the sun vary depending on the placement of the objects along these non-circular orbits. When the apparent size of the moon and the sun are the same during an eclipse, a total eclipse occurs in which the sun is completely obscured by the moon.

An annular eclipse occurs when the apparent size of the moon is smaller than the apparent size of the sun and the sun is not completely obscured by the moon. This could happen when the moon is in it's furthest position from earth and its apparent size is smaller, or when the earth is closest to the sun in its orbit and apparently larger. There are obviously many variations in this that would adjust the relative size of the two objects in the sky.

Nonetheless, an eclipse is either total or annular because the sun is either completely covered by the moon or not.

• ?
Lv 4

A total eclipse is when the Sun is completely covered by the moon. An annular eclipse, from the Latin meaning ring, is when the moon is just smaller than the Sun's angular diameter, and so the eclipse appears to be a fiery ring of the Sun around the dark circle of the moon.

The reason for the difference is that the lunar orbit is elliptical, lost most orbits are. Therefore, for some eclipses the moon is closer to Earth and appears larger, which is the case for total eclipses, and for some eclipses the moon is farther away, appearing smaller, which is the case during annular eclipses.

• Anonymous

Annular eclipses happen when the new moon is too far away at apogee to completely cover the sun. The special thing about this solar eclipse was that the moon was close to perigee at new moon, so it is visually as large as it can be, while the sun is still pretty far away from the Earth after aphelion on July 4, so it is small.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0907/PerihelionAph...