Eclipse Vocabulary

On Monday, August 21, 2017 there will be a total eclipse of the sun. The moon will appear to completely block the sun for a few minutes, and we will experience darkness in the middle of the day. When you can see this happening depends on where you are in the country. The United States hasn't had an eclipse of this kind since 1979. Below are some vocabulary words related to this extraordinary celestial event.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. obscure
    make less visible or unclear
    Astronomers routinely study the sun’s wispy atmosphere using coronagraphs, telescope attachments that obscure the surface glare of the sun.Science Magazine (Aug 18, 2017)
  2. orbit
    the path of a celestial body in its revolution about another
    The moon moves in its own orbit from west to east, and this is what causes the shadow to move from west to east.Seattle Times (Aug 16, 2017)
  3. occult
    become concealed or hidden from view
    “As the Moon begins to occult the Sun more and more, you will need to lengthen the exposure a little bit,” Starr says.The Verge (Aug 10, 2017)
  4. corona
    one or more circles of light seen around a luminous object
    The corona, an aura of plasma that surrounds the sun and stars, is the centerpiece of several works.Los Angeles Times (Aug 19, 2017)
  5. coincide
    go with; fall together
    The eclipse coincides with the Crow Tribe’s annual parade dance, marking the Montana tribe’s new year.Seattle Times (Aug 19, 2017)
  6. totality
    the whole amount
    Eclipse day began mostly clear but clouds gradually moved in and temperatures dropped, especially as the 12:38 p.m. totality approached.Salon (Aug 19, 2017)
  7. penumbra
    a fringe region of partial shadow around an umbra
    The moon will pass into Earth’s penumbra, or outer shadow.Seattle Times (Feb 8, 2017)
  8. umbra
    a region of complete shadow resulting from total obstruction of light
    The shadow directly under the moon, called the umbra, is a total eclipse.Washington Post
  9. eclipse
    the phenomenon when one celestial body obscures another
    As millions of people move into position for Monday’s solar eclipse, some airlines are encouraging travelers to get a little closer to the action.Wall Street Journal (Aug 18, 2017)
  10. celestial
    relating to or inhabiting a divine heaven
    Across the country, both amateur and professional scientists are gearing up for what is sure to be the celestial spectacle of the decade.Washington Post (Aug 1, 2017)

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