Crazy Cousin Matt
Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.
Eclipses of the Sun are created by the Moon blocking the Sun from earth. There are two parts of the eclipse: the umbra, which is complete darkness; and the penumbra, which is an area where only a portion of the sun is covered and there is still light.
Tinman's cousin, Matt, was telling him about his eclipse experience. He recently took a trip to Southern Mexico to see it, and he came back with a fascinating story about how long it took for everything to get dark, and what happened. Matt was angry because the area he was in was supposed to be in the umbra of the eclipse, yet he still saw light. After Tinman explained what happened, Matt realized that he was just confused and thanked his cousin. What did Tinman say?
During an eclipse, all of the Sun is covered. Even though it is covered, solar flares and light are coming off of the Sun, and when the moon covers the Sun you get to see this spectacle. Matt didn't think that was part of the eclipse, so he was confused.
Feb 15, 2006
| Excellent teaser. |
I didn't get the right answer, but it was fun trying.
Feb 15, 2006
| interesting !!!!!!! |
May 09, 2006
|I commend you. Good job. |
May 26, 2006
|This doesn't state that Matt is now blind, which he would be if he decided to look at the eclipse while he's in umbra.|
Jun 09, 2006
|Very easy, but fun. |
Jan 02, 2007
|Crazy cousin mentallicman has the strangest way of muddying the waters. If both locations were in the umbra, the only significant difference would be the matter of duration. The umbra is projected as an ovoid or roundish shadow on the surface of the globe. Latitudes near the center of the "circle" will be in darkness longer than latitudes near the north or south edge of the umbra. If one is sufficiently close to the edge of the umbra, the darkness will be lessened by atmospheric scatter of the partial sunlight striking in the adjacent areas of penumbra.|
Cousin Matt will be Mad Matt if he repeats the junk he has been dealt on a science quiz. [An eclipse could have an alternate part. Look up antumbra.]
Apr 16, 2007
|Actually, you CAN view a solar eclipse during totality, which is when the sun is completely covered by the moon. This only lasts for a short time, but it is exceptionally beautiful because this is when you can see solar flares and the corona. It is imperative that you look away as soon as totality is over, otherwise your retina can be damaged from even a few moments' exposure to the light. So Matt could have looked at the sun while it was in totality and see light. He only would have been injured if he'd looked directly at the sun while it was not completely covered, which he probably had been instructed not to do. (For more info, please see the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse) |
That being said, this was a really cool teaser! I got it fairly quickly, but if you don't know much about eclipses it would be a challenge for sure. Good job!
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