Space

What to know before next week's solar eclipse

What to know before next week's solar eclipse

The sky will darken, temperatures will drop and animals will go quiet on the afternoon of Aug. 21 when a solar eclipse passes over the continental U.S.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, causing the moon to cast a shadow that will hit the earth, according to NASA research scientist Michael Kirk, who specializes in solar imaging.

The moment when the moon completely covers the sun is called "totality," and puts the sky in total darkness, Kirk said. When this occurs, temperatures drop between 10 and 15 degrees, and animals are known to go quiet out of confusion over the sudden darkness. At the moment of totality the sun's corona —...

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