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Name: james d miks
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Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
Why was this eclipse not as dark as usual?


Replies:
The May 10 solar eclipse was what is called an annular eclipse (the Latin word "annulus" means "ring"). The moon has an elliptical orbit, so sometimes it is closer to the earth, sometimes farther away. For this eclipse, it was in the "farther away" part of its orbit, so the moon's disk was not able to completely block the sun. Even at places where the eclipse had maximum coverage (producing the "ring of sun" around the moon's disk), that ring was enough to keep the sky fairly bright.

RC Winther



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