PAUL WOOTTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL WOOTTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Annular solar eclipse, computer artwork. Solar eclipses occur when the Moon passes across the Sun as seen from the Earth. The Moon's shadow consists of a dark central umbra surrounded by the lighter penumbra. Annular solar eclipses occur when a region on the Earth's surface is in line with the umbra, but the tip of the umbra does not reach the Earth's surface. This is because the Moon's orbit is elliptical and varies in its distance from the Earth. On average, the Moon is far enough away to appear smaller than the Sun, resulting in an annular eclipse. It is only when the Moon is closer than average that a total eclipse occurs.
Model release not available. Property release not required.