Solar eclipses occur when the moon comes between the sun and the Earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow, the umbra, on Earth. In August 2017, there will be a total solar eclipse, which is only visible from a small area on Earth. The people who see the total eclipse are in the center of the moon’s shadow when it hits Earth. The sky becomes very dark, as if it were night. For a total eclipse to take place, the sun, moon and Earth must be in a direct line.
Total solar eclipses occur when the dark silhouette of the moon completely obscures the bright light of the sun, allowing the much fainter solar corona to be visible. They are rare events. Even though they occur somewhere on Earth every 18 months, they recur only once every 360 to 410 years, on average, at any given place. There are between two and five solar eclipses every year and they can last for a maximum of 7 minutes, 32 seconds. On average, there are about 240 solar eclipses in a century.
You can use the resources on the Read-Around-A-Theme: Solar Eclipses to learn more about this phenomenon