Is earth's moon the only one that can totally eclipse the sun?Is earth's moon the only one that can totally eclipse the sun?

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lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The above posts are all correct in that the Earth's moon is the only thing that can cause a total eclipse of the sun. The Total Phase is very brief, generally lasting only a few minutes.

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ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

If you are asking if the moon is the only moon that can eclipse the sun, then the answer is yes.  We only have one moon.  The planets Mercury and Venus pass beween the earth and the moon but are much further away from the earth than the moon. Because of their small size (due to distance) they are not able to block out the sun.

An eclipse of the sun can only occur during a New Moon.  A New Moon is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. We usually have a solar eclipse about twice a year.  The total phase of a solar eclipse is very short, but beautiful. Surrounding the black disc you can witness the sun's solar corona, which looks like a wispy halo of light.  You should never look directly at a solar eclipse because the light can hurt your eyes.

There are four types of solar eclipses:

  1. Partial-when the moon passes in front of the sun but does not cover it
  2. Total-when the moon covers the sun completely
  3. Annular-if the moon is further away from the earth than normal than it will not appear large enough in the sky to cover the sun
  4. Hybrid-when the eclipse appears as a total eclipse in some parts of the world and as an annular eclipse in other parts.
crislan's profile pic

crislan | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In reply to #1: Okay, I'm just going finally answer this question. The Moon that is by the earth is in gadgetry ONLY place in the solar system (and so far known) to make an eclipse of any kind. But in a way. If you could stay on one of the clouds of Jupiter you would get an eclipse, but it would either completely block out the sun so that no light passes and and you could not see the Corona (it would literally block out the sun with no way of telling where the sun actually is, or you would get a particle eclipse and only get the sun blocked out but still have parts of the sun showing. Earth is unique in that t is the only planet so far known that has an object that is EXACTLY the same size in the sky as our star (idk the number, just say X, but the sun is X times bigger than the moon in terms of diameter, but it is also X times rather away), And the fact that the moon is EXACTLY alined with the earth (but still at an axis so there wouldn't be an eclipse every month) is also another amazing thing since it could've been a few kilometers "south" or "north" spacewise and there would be no eclipse...Hope this answers your question.
crislan's profile pic

crislan | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In reply to #1: Okay, I'm just going finally answer this question. The Moon that is by the earth is in gadgetry ONLY place in the solar system (and so far known) to make an eclipse of any kind. But in a way. If you could stay on one of the clouds of Jupiter you would get an eclipse, but it would either completely block out the sun so that no light passes and and you could not see the Corona (it would literally block out the sun with no way of telling where the sun actually is, or you would get a particle eclipse and only get the sun blocked out but still have parts of the sun showing. Earth is unique in that t is the only planet so far known that has an object that is EXACTLY the same size in the sky as our star (idk the number, just say X, but the sun is X times bigger than the moon in terms of diameter, but it is also X times rather away), And the fact that the moon is EXACTLY alined with the earth (but still at an axis so there wouldn't be an eclipse every month) is also another amazing thing since it could've been a few kilometers "south" or "north" spacewise and there would be no eclipse...Hope this answers your question.
row1's profile pic

row1 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I don't think anyone answered the question, she was asking about whether moons of other planets create eclipses on those planets, which I would love to know, so I will research it.

theotherdimension333's profile pic

theotherdimension333 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The sizes are just right if the moon was larger it whould not be the same it whould not be a solar eclipse it whould be a black out if the moon was smaller then the solar eclipses whould be to bright. same with lunar eclipses.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Yes. Moon is the only natural heavenly body that can completely eclipse the Sun. Eclipse of sun means blocking the view of sun as seen from the earth because of a heavenly body coming between the line of sight between the earth and sun. The maximum area of the sun blocked out fro the view from earth depends on three factors, size of the body blocking the view, distance of the body from earth, and the extent the body blocking the view is aligned to the line of sight.

Greater the size of the body large is the area of sun that can be blocked out from view, and closer the body to the earth greater is the part of sun blocked out from view. Also the body must be positioned in the line of sight to block the view. While other planets can and do come between earth and sun to be able to block from view, some part of the sun these planets in spite of their bigger size as compared to moon are too far from earth to completely eclipse the sun.

loissoll's profile pic

loissoll | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

If you are asking if the moon is the only moon that can eclipse the sun, then the answer is yes.  We only have one moon.  The planets Mercury and Venus pass beween the earth and the moon but are much further away from the earth than the moon. Because of their small size (due to distance) they are not able to block out the sun.

An eclipse of the sun can only occur during a New Moon.  A New Moon is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. We usually have a solar eclipse about twice a year.  The total phase of a solar eclipse is very short, but beautiful. Surrounding the black disc you can witness the sun's solar corona, which looks like a wispy halo of light.  You should never look directly at a solar eclipse because the light can hurt your eyes.

There are four types of solar eclipses:

  1. Partial-when the moon passes in front of the sun but does not cover it
  2. Total-when the moon covers the sun completely
  3. Annular-if the moon is further away from the earth than normal than it will not appear large enough in the sky to cover the sun
  4. Hybrid-when the eclipse appears as a total eclipse in some parts of the world and as an annular eclipse in other parts.

No, sorry for not being more clear. I meant out of all the planets and their moons, is earth the only one that can get a total eclipse of the sun from the moon passing in front of it. I'm thinking it is because the size of our moon and the distance to the sun make it possible, but that likely isn't the case with other planets.

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