What's a Solar Eclipse?

This morning's total solar eclipse as seen by observers in Svalbard. Credit: REUTERS/Haakon Mosvold Larsen
A solar eclipse is the natural phenomena in which the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking some or all of it's light. When observing a total solar eclipse, the light seen comes from the sun's corona. The corona is the plasma sphere surrounding the sun, and this is where flares and mass ejections take place. The path of totality is short lived and often times in extreme places. Most observes witness partial solar eclipses, where totality is not reached but a portion of the sun may appear to be "chipped".

The stages of a solar eclipse are shown. Credit: Nikon USA
Today's solar eclipse, March 20, 2015, was displayed to the northern hemisphere, in parts of Europe, Greenland, and other North Atlantic Islands. Solar eclipse fans traveled to the island of Svalbard, the distination for totality. If you were unable to observe today's eclipse, this video shows the entirety of it as seen from the Faroe Islands: video.

Don't worry if you didn't get a chance to see today's eclipse in person - in 2017 North America will have prime seats for an amazing total solar eclipse with about 3 total solar eclipses worldwide from now until then.