What is a 'total' solar eclipse compared to a solar eclipse?


What is a “total” solar eclipse? Why not just say solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse is special since it is only possible because of two things: Geometry and being in the right location!

The sun on average is about 400 times wider than the moon. However the sun is also about 400 times further away. So what is the result when the two line up? They appear to be the same size from our perspective here on earth. The moon obscures the sun’s entire surface which then creates what we call as a total solar eclipse.