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A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, totally or partly obscuring the image of the sun.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight. Total solar eclipses occur in narrow paths across the earth’s surface, while a partial solar eclipse can cover regions thousands of miles wide.
A total solar eclipse will be seen in North America on Monday, August 21, 2017; for this eclipse, the longest duration is 2 minutes, 41.6 seconds, and it will be the first total solar eclipse visible across the continental United States from coast to coast in the last 99 years.
Arévalo JF, Kong J, Bressler NM. Safely Viewing Solar Eclipses. JAMA. 2017;318(11):1080. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.9495
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