Why Don’t We Have a Solar Eclipse Every Month? 

The story of Celestials

I remember clearly, I was not more than 13 yrs old when I asked this question to our physics teacher in class. She was probably not expecting this question from anyone of our class. Her reaction somewhat between happy and proud . The question was why we don’t get solar eclipses every month? 

She explained me with few interesting examples, which made me almost understand the answer.

Few years later I had a clearer picture about the whole thing. But I definitely remember those examples till date.

The Universe’s Coincidences:

The three siblings Sun, Earth, and Moon seem to line up perfectly. Shouldn’t that mean monthly eclipse? But no , mother universe had some other plans!

The Eclipses

Mother Universe calls her children to come one by one to click photos. Sun is fat and elder so he is mostly stuck at one place. When finally Sun’s picture is about to be clicked, Moon arrives and photobombs Sun, resulting in Solar eclipse.

Now moon wants to look pretty in picture, so she calls Earth to help her with makeup. On her request , Earth’s shadow gives moon a makeover. This is the lunar eclipse 

Amazing image of eclipse

The  Geometry 

This solar family is a household, with the planets dancing around like playful siblings. But ,as the moon, the youngest among the three siblings rebels, she orbits the Earth at an angle of 5.14 degrees. 

The moon’s 5.14-degree tilt in its orbit around Earth plays a big role. Most of the time, it means the moon’s shadow misses Earth, causing eclipses to occur at longer intervals.

 When everything aligns just right, we get the stunning spectacle of a solar eclipse. So, the moon’s angle adds to the rarity and excitement of eclipses!

Why not monthly eclipses ?

It is all about the geometry and the moon’s rebellious orbit. Sometimes, the family aligns for a celestial reunion.

So on rest of the days, we settle for dreaming under the starry sky.

Reference : Physics Org

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