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        Eclipse Over America | Relative Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon

        Learn how relationships of size and distance among the Sun, Earth, and Moon lead to a total solar eclipse in this video from NOVA: Eclipse Over America. An animation shows how a total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun as viewed from Earth. Although the diameter of the Moon is 400 times smaller than that of the Sun, it is 400 times closer to Earth, and the two objects appear to be the same size in the sky. Particular locations on Earth experience darkness during a total solar eclipse as the shadow of the Moon passes over them. This resource is part of the NOVA Collection.

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