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17 Aug
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On this coming Monday, Aug.21 a solar eclipse will happen in America and it will be covered by the media for everybody to watch.

A NASA scientist says the spectacle "is something that changes your life" and will make viewers' instincts "go a little crazy".

A once-in-a-century total solar eclipse will make viewers feel like they are watching the spectacle from another planet, a NASA scientist has told Sky News.

Parts of 14 US states will witness the natural phenomenon on Monday, while in the UK a partial eclipse will also be visible for around an hour from 7.35pm.

As many as 7.4 million people are expected to travel to areas where the Moon will completely block out the Sun, and excitement ahead of the event has led to shortages of solar eclipse glasses in some US cities.

What is an eclipse?

An eclipse takes place when one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body. There are two types of eclipses on Earth: an eclipse of the moon and an eclipse of the sun.

Lunar eclipse:

The moon moves in an orbit around Earth, and at the same time, Earth orbits the sun. Sometimes Earth moves between the sun and the moon. When this happens, Earth blocks the sunlight that normally is reflected by the moon. (This sunlight is what causes the moon to shine.)

Instead of light hitting the moon’s surface, Earth's shadow falls on it. This is an eclipse of the moon -- a lunar eclipse.

A lunar eclipse can occur only when the moon is full. A lunar eclipse usually lasts for a few hours. At least two partial lunar eclipses happen every year, but total lunar eclipses are rare. It is safe to look at a lunar eclipse.

Solar eclipse:

Sometimes when the moon orbits Earth, it moves between the sun and Earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth. This causes an eclipse of the sun, or solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow onto Earth. Solar eclipses happen once every 18 months. Unlike lunar eclipses, solar eclipses only last for a few minutes.

NEVER look directly at the sun; It can permanently damage your eyes! You must use proper safety equipment to look at any type of solar eclipse.

Study of these wonderful natural phenomenon is very valuable for NASA scientists since they can study the moon surface during the lunar eclipse and get other information about the sun when solar eclipse happens.


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