How to Explain April's Total Solar Eclipse to Kids
Briefly

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will occur in North America, providing a unique and educational experience for people of all ages, including children. Explaining a solar eclipse to kids can be done in simple terms by describing how the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, resulting in either a partial or a total eclipse. The moon's orbit, however, is not always aligned with the Earth's orbit around the sun, which is why solar eclipses do not happen every month.
Your explanation of this April's eclipse can vary in complexity, depending on the age of the child. At its very simplest, when the moon gets in between the Earth and the sun, and the moon appears to pass over the sun as seen from Earth, then we get a solar eclipse, says Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
For older kids, it may be necessary to explain the tilt of the moon's orbit and how this misalignment prevents solar eclipses from occurring every month. Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist, explains that the moon's orbit is tilted by about five degrees, which means that when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, the three bodies are not in perfect alignment, and the moon doesn't fully block the sun.
But the moon's orbit around Earth is not completely lined up with our planet's orbit around the sun. The orbit of the moon is tilted by about five degrees, says Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist and senior education manager at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Normally, that tilt means that when the moon moves between Earth and the sun, the three bodies are out of alignment. The moon doesn't block the sun, and the shadow of the moon cast by the sun lands in space instead of on Earth's surface.
Read at www.scientificamerican.com
[
add
]
[
|
|
]
more OMG science Briefly
[ Load more ]