how to make solar eclpse

To make a solar eclipse model is simple. We use clay, a ball, a pencil, and a flashlight to model the position of the Sun, Earth, and Moon during solar and lunar eclipses. – The general understanding of an eclipse is a celestial body obstructed by the shadow of another celestial body. So, technically an eclipse is the blocking of light from one celestial body when it crosses the shadow ot another celestial body. A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon and blocks the Moon’s light.

The understanding of this defintion confirms to the general definition of an eclipse. But technically, solar eclipse is a special form of grafting, where a larger celestial body passes in front of a smaller celestial body.

In this project, we will make a model the, Earth, and Moon during a solar and lunar eclipse. We will study why eclipses do not occur every month, and we will determine the times of tintersection when the eclipse stages begin and end. We will also identify the causes of partial and ring solar eclipses.

Learning Objective

To model a solar eclipse.


golf ball–size piece of modeling clay

2 pens

4-inch (10-cm) Styrofoam ball



1. Pull off a grape-size piece of clay and mold it into a ball.

2. Stick the clay ball on the pointed end of one of the pens. The clay ball represents the Moon.

3. Stick the point of the other pen into the Styrofoam ball. This ball represents Earth.

4. Use the remaining clay to stand the model Earth on a table.

5. In a darkened room, turn on the flashlight. Hold it in your left hand, about 12 inches (30 cm) from the model Earth.

6. Hold the model Moon in your right hand, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the model Earth. Move the Moon from the back side of the Earth toward the front in a counterclockwise direction.

7. As the Moon moves, notice the shadow it casts on the Earth’s surface.

figure how to make solar eclipse


The shadow of the Moon moves across the surface of the Earth.


The passing of one body in front of another, cutting off its light, is called an eclipse. In this experiment, the Moon eclipses the Sun, which is called a solar eclipse. On the celestial sphere, the Moon appears to move across the ecliptic in front of the Sun during a solar eclipse. When the Moon passes directly between the Sun and the Earth, the Moon blocks the Sun’s photosphere. If the shadow of the Moon reaches Earth, to observers in part of the shadow the Sun’s photosphere is completely blocked, and the Sun seems to disappear. This event is called a total solar eclipse.