What are Eclipses?

ECLIPSE: An eclipse occurs when one object blocks another. Eclipses occur on Earth because the Sun’s size to the Moon’s size is equal to that of the Sun’s distance to Earth to the Moon’s distance to Earth.

SOLAR ECLIPSE: A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon, between the Sun and Earth, blocks out t he Sun.

LUNAR ECLIPSE: A lunar eclipse when the Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon’ the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon.

  • Total and partial lunar eclipses are much more common than total and partial solar eclipses because the Earth is more likely to block the Sun’s light than the Moon is.
  • Lunar eclipses can also be seen on over a greater area than solar eclipses.
  • Since the Moon’s orbit is tilted 5 degrees more than the Earth’s orbit, eclipses do not occur every month; sometimes, the Moon is too high or too low.
  • Umbra: (total eclipse) the innermost and darkest of the shadows, light source is completely blocked
  • Penumbra: (partial eclipse) only a portion of the light source is blocked
  • Antumbra: (annular eclipse) the occluding body appears entirely with the disc of light

FUTURE ECLIPSES:

November 13-14, 2012 = Total Solar Eclipse

November 28, 2012 = Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

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