It was on the 11th of July, in 2010 that the last total solar eclipse had occurred and to see another one of the total solar eclipses, one would have to wait till 13th November, 2012. However, total solar eclipses are not the only type of eclipses that occur; the last partial eclipse was observed on 4th January, 2011 and we will be seeing another partial solar eclipse soon again on the 1st of June, in 2011. The popularity that a solar eclipse enjoys today mainly owes it to the total solar eclipse of 11th August, 1999, that was seen from Europe. It was from this day onwards that the interest of the public has increased massively towards witnessing this celestial phenomenon.
Solar eclipses have been sighted from the ancient of times as signs or omens of bad nature indicative of supernatural powers at work. Of course, science have explained the real reasons long ago, but some of the cultures still believe in them and almost no religious individual from their respective religions would question the faith. The event in reality is astronomical in nature and occurs when the moon comes in between our view of the sun from the specific location on the surface of the earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon totally blocks the sunlight from reaching the specific location on the surface of the earth. A partial solar eclipse is almost the same, but only this time, a portion of the sun’s view is obstructed by the moon and thus it is not as dark or as spectacular as the total solar eclipse. One should note that solar eclipses can only happen during the new moon and at no other point in the moon’s phase. After calculating, scientists have come to a conclusion that the minimum number of eclipses each year cannot be less than two, while the maximum number of eclipses can at best be five. The maximum number of total solar eclipses cannot be more than two and even then, a year with two total solar eclipses is not common.