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Solar eclipses happen when the Earth's moon, which is very small, passes is front of the very large Sun. To better understand how this happens, have a child identify something in the distance which is larger than a penny. Hand the child a penny, and have him or her close one eye. As the penny is moved from an arm's length closer to the child's face, the object in the distance will disappear. An adult can explain that when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, the Moon blocks out light, just like the penny blocked the far away object.