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With the latest solar eclipse happening in North America in the past week, eclipses have become a hot topic among the general public.

On Monday alone, the day of the solar eclipse, 1.2 million posts were made on X that morning with the conversation growing by 38% every hour.

Eclipses are a rare phenomenon and is usually only visible on certain times and dates at a specific location. It usually doesn’t last very long as the sun, Earth and moon cross each other’s paths.

In an average year, there would usually be between two and five solar eclipses. This is when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun.

Tech Central reports that there are three types of solar eclipses – total, partial, and annular. Total solar eclipses occur when the moon completely covers the sun. An annular solar eclipse is when the moon covers the centre of the sun while its outer edges are in view creating a ring of fire.

It’s expected that the next partial lunar eclipse visible from South Africa will take place on 18 September 2024 and the next total lunar eclipse will take place on 7 September 2025.

The next partial solar eclipse will take place on 17 February 2026 and the next total solar eclipse will take place on 25 November 2030.

Image credit: Princeton University

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