To mark the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence of a total solar eclipse that spans across the width of the United States, Google has created a cute interactive doodle featuring two aliens playing catch with the moon, as it occasionally covers the sun, celebrating the Great American Eclipse on August 21.
Clicking on the doodle takes you to a page full of information on how an eclipse happens along with a bunch of trivia.
An eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, causing the satellite to cover the sun, briefly blocking the sunlight. Only if you’re standing right in the centre of the moon’s shadow on Earth, then you will get to experience totality, which is some moments of total darkness during the day.
According to Google, a total eclipse (when you can just see the sun’s ring) occurs only “once every 18 months. To see one requires you to be in just the right place on earth, and a total eclipse in the same location only happens every 375 years on average”.
More than seven million have travelled to places along the 104-odd km strip from Oregon to South Carolina to stand witness to the moment, says a Forbes report. Apparently it’s been 99 years since an total eclipse crossed the width the United States. Those who are not on the strip can view a partial eclipse from wherever they are in the US.
To help prepare for the natural phenomenon, there have been countless articles and missives on how to watch the eclipse, with a lot of stress being put on the importance of not looking directly at the sun, and especially not through a telescope.
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