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

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

Lunar Eclipse

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.

    The Conditions for an Eclipse to Occur

  • 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

Solar Eclipse Anatomy

Lunar Eclipse Anatomy

FUTURE ECLIPSES:

November 13-14, 2012 = Total Solar Eclipse

November 28, 2012 = Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse on Mars

Partial Solar Eclipse on Mars

On September 17, 2012, five weeks after it landed on Mars, Curiosity snapped photos with Mast Camera of a partial solar eclipse as the moon Phobos crossed in front of the Sun. The solar eclipse looks very different from those on Earth… Why? Phobos is much smaller than the Moon (2,160 miles across), which is big enough to block the entire solar disk when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are perfectly aligned. Mars’ other moon Deimos is even smaller and farther from Mars’ surface, so it will block less of the Sun.

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