"The Moon's umbra is also surrounded by a penumbra. During a solar eclipse, the Moon's penumbra extends over a large portion of the Earth's surface. When only the penumbra sweeps across the Earth's surface, the Sun is only partly covered by the Moon. This circumstance results in a partial eclipse of the Sun.
"If a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is farthest from the Earth, then the Moon's umbra falls short of the Earth and no one sees a total eclipse. From the Earth's surface, the Moon then appears too small to cover the Sun completely, and a thin ring or "annulus" of light is seen around the edge of the Moon at mid-eclipse. This type of eclipse is called an annular eclipse. The length of the Moon's umbra is nearly 5000 km (3100 mi) shorter than the average distance between the Moon and the Earth's surface. Thus, the Moon's shadow often fails to reach the Earth, making annular eclipses occur slightly more often than total eclipses.
"A total solar eclipse is a dramatic event. The sky begins to darken, the air temperature falls, and the winds incrase as the Moon's umbra races toward you. All nature responds....As the moment when the Sun becomes totally eclipsed approaches, the landscape is bathed in shimmering bands of light and dark as the last few rays of sunlight peek out from behind the edge of the Moon. Finally, the corona blazes forth in a star-studded daytime sky. It is an awesome sight but should only be viewed through a suitable protective filter."
I'll never think of eclipses the same way again.
P.S. I asked Bria about the noise. She hears it too. It's coming from one of the fans. Whew. I'm not hearing things after all.