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Astronomical question and answer 255

 

Frank L. Preuss

 

Why does not the course of the curve of a solar eclipse show a semicircle of the shadow at the beginning and at the end?

 

When I have a look at such a curve of the course, as the following, then both ends are straight and also perpendicular to the way of the curve and there is no semicircle of the shadow shown, not in the west, at the beginning, and also not at the end, in the east:

VerlaufskurveSonnenfinsternis

At that point of time, when the curve of the course starts, the line, which goes from the centre of the sun to the centre of the moon and then to centre of the shadow of the moon, is tangent to earth.

The eastern part of the shadow then falls already on the earth; but the western part does not then fall on the earth, but into space.

That also means that the point of time, where this line is tangent to the globe of the earth, is not the beginning of the solar eclipse. The beginning of the solar eclipse is, when the eastern edge of the shadow is tangent to the globe, therefore before.

At the end of the curve of the course, in the east, it is then accordingly. When the line is tangent to the eastern edge of the sphere of the earth, the western half of the circle of the shadow still falls unto the earth; and the eastern into empty space. And the solar eclipse then still last so long until the western edge of the circle of the shadow is tangent to the sphere.

 

This is the end of "Astronomical question and answer 255"
To the German version of this chapter: Astronomische Frage und Antwort 255

 

 

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