Is it a coincidence that the moon covers the Sun completely?

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brian lucas

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brian lucas  asked the Naked Scientists:

Great show. I live in southern Spain and have a question about the eclpises.

During an eclipse, is it a coincidence that the moon (more or less) covers the Sun, or is there a mathematical process here?

And if we were to see an eclipse of the sun (by either Phobos or Diemos) from the surface of Mars would we see the same effect?

Cheers,

Brian

What do you think?

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Is it a coincidence that the moon covers the Sun completely?
« Reply #1 on: 12/09/2008 16:37:12 »
As far as I know it is pure coincidence.
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Offline LeeE

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Is it a coincidence that the moon covers the Sun completely?
« Reply #2 on: 12/09/2008 16:45:52 »
I always assumed that Slartibartfast designed it that way - oops no - he just did the Norwegian fjords didn't he?  It was Deepthought who must have worked out that the moon had to be the size it is.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Is it a coincidence that the moon covers the Sun completely?
« Reply #3 on: 12/09/2008 16:49:27 »
I always assumed that Slartibartfast designed it that way - oops no - he just did the Norwegian fjords didn't he?  It was Deepthought who must have worked out that the moon had to be the size it is.

Now you're being silly.

Q: Where do you find Fjords?
A: At a Mjotor Shjow next to Fjiats

 [:D]
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Offline LeeE

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Is it a coincidence that the moon covers the Sun completely?
« Reply #4 on: 12/09/2008 16:55:07 »
Umm...   [:D]
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline RD

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Is it a coincidence that the moon covers the Sun completely?
« Reply #5 on: 12/09/2008 20:23:29 »
Viewed form Earth there are also annular solar eclipses, where the moon does not completely cover the sun:
 a ring of the sun is still visible around the moon...

 [attachment=4566]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse#Types


Phobos and Deimos are much smaller than our moon.
If viewed from the surface of Mars their angular diameter would not be large enough to totally eclipse the sun.
Viewed from Mars the angular diameter of Phobos is approximately half that of the sun, (note: Phobos is not spherical).

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Offline yor_on

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Is it a coincidence that the moon covers the Sun completely?
« Reply #6 on: 14/03/2011 17:47:01 »
I miss DB :)

He was a whole lot of fun.
And it was cool photos you found RD.
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