By Anupum Pant
Ever wondered why we don’t have solar eclipses every month, given the moon makes a full circle of earth in a month? Shouldn’t there be an eclipse every month at least at one place on earth? And the same goes for lunar eclipses too. That’s because the orbit of moon is slightly tilted, at about 5 degrees. And that’s pretty huge when it comes to big distances of the space.
Also, by some bizarre coincidence, a moon 400 times smaller than the sun is also 400 times closer to earth than the sun. That crazy coincidence gives it the ability to block out the sun’s light during a full solar eclipse, even when it is much smaller than the object it is blocking. Like your thumbnail, smaller than the sun, but much closer than it can block the sun’s light.
But the moon isn’t at the same distance from earth all the time. So, when it is far, you get these annular solar eclipses, which block the suns inner part, and you still can see a ring of brilliant light.
And since the moon is slowly going away, about 600 million years from now, there’ll be only annular solar eclipses. Of course we won’t be around to miss the complete solar eclipses.