A solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and when the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. This can happen only during the new moon when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the Sun is obscured.
There are 5 stages in a total solar eclipse:
1. Partial eclipse begins (1st contact): The Moon starts becoming visible over the Sun's disk. The Sun looks as if a bite has been taken from it.
2. Total eclipse begins (2nd contact): The entire disk of the Sun is covered by the Moon. Observers in the path of the Moon's umbra may be able to see Baily's beads and the diamond ring effect, just before totality.
3. Totality and maximum eclipse: The Moon completely covers the disk of the Sun. Only the Sun's corona is visible. This is the most dramatic stage of a total solar eclipse. At this time, the sky goes dark, temperatures can fall, and birds and animals often go quiet. The midpoint of time of totality is known as the maximum point of the eclipse. Observers in the path of the Moon's umbra may be able to see Baily's beads and the diamond ring effect, just after totality ends.
4. Total eclipse ends (3rd contact): The Moon starts moving away, and the Sun reappears.
5. Partial eclipse ends (4th contact): The Moon stops overlapping the Sun's disk. The eclipse ends at this stage in this location.
On August 21, 2017 NYC experienced a partial solar eclipse with the moon blocking the sun at about 72% at it's peak.
The following images were captured in my mom's back yard when the eclipses was nearing it's peak.