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Geometry of a solar eclipse. Since the Moon is small compared to Earth its shadow is narrow. Any place where the darker part of the shadow (the umbra) falls would have a total eclipse, but within the outer part of the shadow (the penumbra) the eclipse is only partial. Mona Evans, "Solar Eclipses"

Phases of the Moon. A solar eclipse can only occur at the new Moon because that's the only time that Sun, Moon and Earth could line up with the Moon blocking the Sun from our view. ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”

Solar Eclipses: An Observer's Guide (Infographic) - When the moon covers up the sun, skywatchers delight in the opportunity to see a rare spectacle. Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”

Diamond ring effect. The Moon's surface isn't smooth and just before totality in an eclipse the last bit of sunlight shines through the lunar valleys. ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”

If you were on the Moon during a lunar eclipse, you'd see a solar eclipse. French astronomer and artist Lucien Rudaux imagines the scene. Earth's disk is black here, but except for a very dark eclipse, Earth's night-side would be faintly visible. And the Sun's corona wouldn't be because the Earth's disk would cover it. Mona Evans, "Lunar Eclipses"

Phases of the Moon. A lunar eclipse only occurs at the full moon because that's the only time the Moon could pass through the Earth's shadow. (Diagram: ©Mona Evans, “Lunar Eclipses”

Solar eclipse, Cairns, Australia (SLOOH SpaceCamera - Live Event) Start of total eclipse November 2012, the skies are partly cloudy. ©Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”

'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse. This photo of an annular solar eclipse was taken on May 20, 2012 in Roswell, NM, USA. The Moon's orbit isn't exactly circular and the Moon seems smaller when it's more distant. This means it doesn't quite cover the Sun during an eclipse. (Credit: Joel Dykstra) Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”

If you were on the Moon during a total lunar eclipse, you'd see a total solar eclipse. It might look something like this, with the Earth's nightside faintly shining. (Credit: Hana Gartstein) Mona Evans, "Lunar Eclipses"

Path of the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse. It occurs on the day of the March equinox, which hasn't happened since the 17th century. The only land areas where the total eclipse may be visible are the Faroe Islands and the island of Svalbard. But Europe, North Africa, parts of the Middle East & north central Asia will have a partial eclipse. Mona Evans, “Solar Eclipses”