Why a total solar eclipse is such a big deal

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How solar and lunar eclipses work.

Note: This is an update of a video we published in 2015.

Getty Images
NASA: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/search.cgi?series=383
Eclipse catalog: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEcat5/catalog.html
Dmitry Chulkov: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrXJfVFbnfU
Bernt Rostad: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brostad/2773255031
mtsrs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsrs/3768574487
CNES/CNRS/NASA: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/11133
Marc Aragnou: https://vimeo.com/108544802
Jesse Olson: https://vimeo.com/57820123
redwing115: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yljQ3XsFU_8
Xavier Jubier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E53RbhQjajA
vfr800hu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlnMc6biFCw
mikewattsuk/bbc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt3C5MM7Jkg

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On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse is coming to the continental United States for the first time in 38 years, which may make it the most viewed total solar eclipse in history. These events generate so much excitement because the orbital mechanics of the earth-moon-sun system keep the moon's shadow small and mobile. It will touch any given spot on the planet only once in over 300 years on average. For that reason, most people must make a concerted effort if they are to witness this event in their lifetimes. In this video we explain the differences between a solar and lunar eclipse and why some believe that a total eclipse of the sun is the greatest natural phenomenon of them all.

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