As the USA gets ready for the first complete solar eclipse to cross the mainland since 1918 in August this year, scientists have predicted when the last solar eclipse will take place, mainly because the moon is very slowly moving away from earth.
Scientists have put the last eclipse at 600 million years from now. As the moon won’t be so visible or expansive in our night sky for an eclipse to occur.
Solar eclipses have been recorded by humans for millennia. Reference to the solar eclipse has been discovered in ancient texts all over the world from Chinese academic documentaries to Homer’s Odyssey.
The sun is blotted from the heavens.
The Eclipse is the result of the moon aligning between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun's light and casting a shadow on our planet. As Earth spins, this shadow races at some 2,250 kilometres an hour along a line called the path of totality.
During totality, the only visible part of the sun is its corona, the normally unseen outer atmosphere that shimmers in the darkness like a fiery ring. When the sun begins to reappear, there is often a sparkling glow in one spot along the corona that creates what's known as the diamond ring effect.
Usually, these total solar eclipses only occur once every 18 months in any location on Earth.
The Moon’s formation 4.5 billion years ago, it would’ve been 23,000 km from earth, so eclipses would have been a more regular occurrence. But the gravitational interface between the two worlds forced the moon to drift away.
Though the moon’s size hasn’t changed much in the past million years, within the next 600 million years it will no longer be close enough to block the sun.
Better catch it while it’s still around.