Welcome to the fourth bit of a six-part-long series on all things space! Each month, a new article featuring a fascinating aspect of space will be uploaded. From asteroids to comets to stars – anything and everything will be included! Read carefully, for when the series comes to an end, there will be a SuperTrivia to test your knowledge on space. Happy Reading!
Have you ever heard of eclipses? They are one of the greatest phenomena in our universe –one that scientists are constantly studying and trying to understand.
There are two types of eclipses experienced on earth. One is the “lunar eclipse”. This can only take place on the night of a full moon. The moon is constantly orbiting the earth, and the earth is constantly orbiting the moon. Sometimes, they orbit such that the earth comes between the moon and the sun. We know the moon gets its light from the sun, but since the earth is now between the sun and the moon, the moon is unable to get its light from the sun. This means a dark shadow falls on the moon. When this occurs, we say it is a partial lunar eclipse.
Occasionally, when the moon, earth and sun are completely aligned, a total lunar eclipse takes place. Some of the sun’s light manages to reach the moon since the sun is bigger than the earth, but it passes through the earth’s atmosphere. This filters the color of the light, and the moon appears red.
The other kind of an eclipse is a solar eclipse, and it happens when the moon, while orbiting the earth, comes in between the sun and the earth. In a total solar eclipse, everything goes black almost as if it was nighttime. In a partial solar eclipse, the entire sun is not blocked. Instead, a ring of sunlight can still be seen from behind the moon.
Total eclipses are rare, only because Allah has designed the universe such that every celestial body orbits only on its due course. Eclipses are harmless, but if movements of the stars and planets was not coordinated, who knows how many dangerous incidents of a nature similar to eclipses would take place? Allah ensured that nothing even deters by an inch, otherwise, catastrophe would break lose on earth. These are just one of the few signs of Allah’s Glory and Majesty, that show how perfect and worthy of worship He is.
By: Hamna Salman