A solar eclipse is when the moon lines up perfectly with the sun and Earth. I'll tell you some vocab you need to know.
Well, the shining circle of light around the moon is the sun's atmosphere. It is called the corona. You may see some shining "beads" of light around the corona. This phemomena is called Bailey's Beads. Now remember, a solar eclipse can only occur during a NEW MOON!!! There are 3 different types of a common solar eclipse. A total is when the moon completely covers the sun and the corona is visible. In this phase, there is total darkness. A partial is when the moon partially covers the sun. An annular eclipse is like a total, but the corona isn't visible.
The path where there is a total solar eclipse is called the path of totality. (Hint hint) There are 2 different types of shadows; the umbra and the penumbra (both cast onto Earth). The umbra is a smaller shadow that may be 100 miles wide. It is the area of complete darkness. The penumbra is a larger shadow that may cover even half of Earth. This is the area of the partial eclipse.