Solar Eclipse Facts (Printables + Tips To Watch The Next Solar Eclipse


Long ago, people believed that a solar eclipse was a bad omen, a sign that something terrible was going to occur. However, now we know that a solar eclipse is simply the exact moment the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth. To celebrate the next total solar eclipse, we’re sharing solar eclipse facts so kids can learn fun facts about this natural phenomenon.

Download here –> Solar Eclipse Facts

Black and white printed solar eclipse facts with drawings that represent each fact, on top of blue-green and purple sheets with assorted crayons on a dark grey background. printed pdf version from Kids activities blog.
Let’s learn some fun facts!

What’s a solar eclipse?

There are different types of eclipses; for example, lunar eclipses happen when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, blocking sunlight from reaching the moon. This causes the moon to darken and sometimes appear reddish in color. Unlike solar eclipses, which can only be seen from specific locations, lunar eclipses are visible from anywhere on the night side of the Earth where the moon is above the horizon. 

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, causing the sun to be partially or completely blocked from view. This natural phenomenon happens because of the precise alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth.

During a solar eclipse, different types of shadows are cast on the Earth, depending on the position of the observer and the type of eclipse occurring. For instance, a total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely covers the sun, while an annular eclipse forms a “ring of fire” around the darkened sun.

It’s a rare event that offers a unique opportunity to witness the movement of celestial bodies in our solar system. However, it’s crucial to observe solar eclipses safely –never with the naked eye– using proper equipment like solar filters or special eclipse glasses to protect your eyes from harmful rays.

When is the next solar eclipse visible from the continental United States?

The next solar eclipse will be on April 8th, 2024, and will be seen from different places in Mexico, the USA, and Canada.

The duration of totality will be up to 4 minutes and 27 seconds – almost double the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017! This will be the first total solar eclipse in the contiguous United States in 7 years.

According to NASA, cities in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and small parts of Tennessee and Michigan will experience the total solar eclipse. Parts of Mexico and Canada will also fall within the eclipse’s path. 

Facts About Solar Eclipses

Screenshot of black and white printed solar eclipse facts with drawings that represent each fact for kids, students and adults. printed pdf version from Kids activities blog.
Solar eclipse facts for kids!
  1. Solar eclipses are rare events that happen because of the way the Sun, Earth, and Moon line up in space, once every 1 or 2 years.
  2. Solar eclipses happen when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, blocking some or all of the Sun’s light. 
  3. When the Moon covers the Sun entirely it creates a total eclipse, but if it covers only part of the Sun, it is called a partial eclipse. 
  4. The path of totality is the area where you can see a total eclipse. Unless you’re on that line, you’ll only see a partial solar eclipse.
  5. The Moon’s shadow has a dark part called the umbra and a lighter part called the penumbra. It moves from west to east as the eclipse progresses.
Screenshot of black and white printed solar eclipse facts with drawings that represent each fact for kids, students and adults. printed pdf version from Kids activities blog.
So many fun facts about solar eclipses!
  1. Baily’s beads are tiny beads of sunlight that peek through the Moon’s valleys during a total eclipse.
  2. Solar eclipses can only occur during a new moon phase.
  3. The temperature drops an average of 10°F on Earth when a solar eclipse occurs.
  4. Solar eclipses always happen two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.
  5. In about 600 million years, total solar eclipses won’t happen anymore because the Moon will have drifted too far away from Earth and won’t be able to completely cover the Sun.

Download fun facts about solar eclipses printable pdf

Download here –> Solar Eclipse Facts

How to prepare for a Solar Eclipse

Watching this solar event is exciting, however, there are certain precautions you have to take. 

  • It’s essential to use proper eye protection when watching a solar eclipse to prevent eye damage. Never look directly at the sun without certified solar eclipse glasses or solar filters.
  • Create a simple pinhole projector with cardboard to safely view the eclipse’s projection.
  • Get to your viewing location early (with clear skies) to secure a good spot and avoid last-minute crowds.
  • Pack essentials like water, snacks, chairs, and sunscreen for a comfortable viewing experience.
  • Keep track of eclipse timing and duration for your specific location to avoid missing the event.
  • Use solar filters on cameras or smartphones to photograph the eclipse safely.
  • Consider attending a local science center, museum, or astronomy club’s viewing event for a guided experience.

Fun things to notice during a solar eclipse

  • There are so many things to pay attention to when a solar eclipse is happening! Take a look at your surroundings and:
  • Observe faint, rippling shadow bands that may appear on flat surfaces just before and after totality.
  • Notice changes in animal behavior, such as birds returning to their nests or insects becoming quiet, as they react to the sudden darkness.
  • Experience a noticeable drop in temperature as the sun’s heat diminishes during the eclipse.
  • Witness the stunning diamond ring effect just before and after totality, where the sun’s last bright rays create a sparkling ring around the moon.
  • Look at the sun’s corona, the outer atmosphere visible only during totality, revealing delicate wisps and streamers of light.
  • Notice the rapid movement of the moon’s shadow as it sweeps across the Earth during the eclipse, casting darkness in its path.
  • Observe the sharpness of shadows during partial phases, noticing their crisp edges and unusual shapes due to the sun’s crescent shape.

RECOMMENDED SUPPLIES FOR Solar eclipse FACTS COLORING SHEETS

  • Something to color with: favorite crayons, colored pencils, markers, paint, water colors…The printed solar eclipse facts coloring pages template pdf — see button above to download & print.
  • MORE PRINTABLE FUN FACTS FOR KIDS

    Check out these fun fact pages that include interesting facts about space, planets, and our solar system:

    MORE FUN PRINTABLE PAGES & ACTIVITIES FROM KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG

    What was your favorite fact about solar eclipses?



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