There are four different types of solar eclipses. They are called the partial eclipse, the annular eclipse, the total eclipse and the hybrid eclipse.
It is a popular misconception that total solar eclipses are rare occurrence -- they take place about once every 18 months. They can also be spotted somewhere on the earth.
After Mondays eclipse, the next total eclipse in the US will occur on April 8, 2024. That total eclipse can be seen from Texas to Maine.
Solar eclipses happen when the Moon moves between Sun and Earth, blocking the Sun's rays and casting a shadow on Earth. The Moon's shadow is not big enough to cover the entire planet, so the shadow is always limited to a one area.