This astronomical phenomenon that amazes us so much will disappear one day

This astronomical phenomenon that amazes us so much will disappear

When it occurs, most people who observe it are speechless as it is spectacular and rare… The next one takes place on April 4, 2024, but in the future, its days are numbered.

If you pay attention, you can see a whole bunch of phenomena happening every day in the sky: the Sun rising and setting at the end of the day, moving clouds, traces of planes passing by, flights of birds… And then, there are also slightly more particular phenomena, which only occur very rarely, such as solar eclipses. Thus, when the moon is placed in front of the Sun, partially or totally occulting it, the solar eclipse fascinates the most curious.

In the field of astronomy, we differentiate between partial solar eclipses and total solar eclipses. This last category of eclipses is all the more rare because it requires three conditions at the same time: the Moon must pass between the Earth and the Sun and completely project its shadow on the Earth. As a result, when this happens, we are immediately plunged into total darkness. This is also what will happen on April 4 in parts of the United States, Mexico and Canada.

But with global warming, this phenomenon of total solar eclipse, which is already rare, will one day disappear. Indeed, the Moon is gradually moving away from the earth, “at a rate of approximately 3.8 centimeters per year”underlines the specialized media ScientificAmerican. However, to give the illusion that the Moon is larger than the Sun and that it manages to obscure it during the eclipse, the Moon must remain at a certain distance from the star. The farther away it goes, the less it can hide the Sun. According to estimates, in 620 million years, the Moon will be so far away that it will no longer be able to cover the Sun. At that point, only annular solar eclipses will occur. The surface of the star that remains to be covered will form a ring of light, hence the name “annulars”.