AstronomyOnline.org
home observation science solar system stars our galaxy cosmology astrobiology exoplanets astrophotography
Lunar Eclipse
 

Just like the orbit of the Moon influences the probability of a Solar Eclipse, a lunar eclipse will occur if the Earth lies between the Sun and Moon.

NOTE: Unlike a Solar Eclipse, a Lunar Eclipse can be safely viewed with the naked eye. The reason: Reflection of sunlight is viewed, not the Sun itself.

The diagram above demonstrates the conditions required for a lunar eclipse. Notice the similarity between this diagram and the diagram shown on the Solar Eclipse page.

There are three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbra. The type of eclipse is dependant on the Moon's location on the shadow of the Earth.

The illustration above demonstrates the position of the Moon and its associated eclipse type.

 

The image above is an example of a total lunar eclipse. The image above is an example of a partial lunar eclipse. The image above is an example of a penumbral lunar eclipse. At first glance, this looks like a "normal" Full Moon, but notice it is not near as bright as a "usual" Full Moon.

The red color of the Moon is somewhat startling, and reminds me of something out of the Book of Revelations. But in reality the red color is an effect directly resulting from light interacting from OUR atmosphere. For the same reason why the sky is blue during the daylight hours, blue light is readily scattered about our atmosphere while red light passes more easily though. The diagram below demonstrates:

If any object were to pass though this part of the shadow, it too would also appear a bit red.

To view upcoming lunar eclipse dates, click here.

Back to Top

Search | Site Map | Buy Stuff - Store | Appendix
©2004 - 2013 Astronomy Online. All rights reserved. Contact Us. Legal. Creative Commons License
The works within is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.