Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

A Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. 

lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned, with Earth between the other two. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon. Guys lets know more about Lunar Eclipse.


Here, in this blog we are going to know more about Lunar eclipse and facts related to it.


During a total lunar eclipse, Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth’s atmosphere. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does: the Rayleigh scattering of blue light. Due to this reddish color, a totally eclipsed Moon is sometimes called a blood moon.


lunar eclipses may be viewed from anywhere in the world during night on the Earth. This can last up to nearly 2 hours. Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon. Lunar eclipses occures frequently, so the date of next lunar eclipse can be predicted after study of motion of Earth, Moon and Sun.


Types of Lunar eclipse

Types of lunar eclipse
Types of lunar eclipse


Astronomers recognize three basic types of lunar eclipses:


 1. Penumbral Lunar Eclipses – A penumbral lunar darkening or eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are imperfectly aligned. When this happens, the Earth blocks some of the Sun’s light from directly reaching the Moon’s surface and covers all or part of the Moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra.

Two celestial events must happen at the same time for a penumbral lunar eclipse to occur:

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
  • The Moon must be in the Full Moon phase.
  • The Sun, Earth, and Moon must be nearly aligned, but not as closely aligned as during a partial eclipse.


2. Partial Lunar Eclipses –  A partial lunar darkening or eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the Sun and Moon but the three celestial bodies do not form a straight line in space. When that happens, a small part of the Moon’s surface is covered by the darkest, central part of the Earth’s shadow, called the umbra.

For a partial lunar eclipse to occur, two celestial events must happen at the same time:

  • A Full Moon.
  • The Sun, Earth, and Moon must be aligned in almost a straight line.


3. Total Lunar Eclipses. A total lunar darkening or eclipse takes place when, the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon and covers the Moon with its shadow. When this happens, the Moon can turn red, earning it the nickname of Blood Moon. Earth casting its shadow on the Moon.

Total lunar eclipses happen only when:

  • It is Full Moon.
  • At the same time, the Moon is at (or very near) a lunar node, so the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are aligned in a straight (or nearly straight) line.


Interesting Facts about Lunar eclipse.

  • lunar darkening or eclipses can last up to 3 hour and 45 minutes.
  • The Eclipse word comes from the Greek word, meaning downfall.
  • In ancient time, a total lunar eclipse or disappearance of the Moon meant that the gods were angry with the people.
  • Usually Lunar darkening can occure three times in a year. 
  • The appearance or darkness of the Moon varies during a total lunar darkening due to the variation in the composition of Earth’s atmosphere.
  • It is not dangerous to look directly at the Moon during a lunar darkening because the Moon is not giving off its own light.
  • The longest duration of totality for a lunar eclipse is 106 minutes. This can happen when the moon crosses through the middle of the Earth’s shadow when the moon is at or very near to apogee (farthest point in its orbit from Earth). When the moon is near apogee, it is moving slower and needs a longer time to cross the Earth’s shadow.
  • The color and brightness of the totally eclipsed moon depends on global weather conditions and the amount of dust suspended in the air. A clear atmosphere on Earth means a bright lunar eclipse.  But if a major volcanic eruption has injected particles into the stratosphere in the previous couple of years, the eclipse is very dark.
  • The 1971 San Fernando earthquake (also known as the Sylmar earthquake) occurred in the early morning of Feb. 9 in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California. The magnitude was determined to be of Richter magnitude 6.7. Fifteen hours later, a total lunar eclipse took place and there were some that suggested that the alignment of the sun, Earth and moon was responsible.


Myths about Lunar eclipse.

  • Pay it forward: Tibetan Buddhists believe that the good (and bad) deeds you do during a lunar eclipse are multiplied tenfold.
  • A time to forgive: According to South African myth, the Sun and Moon fight during an eclipse. It’s up to the people to come together and encourage the celestial bodies to resolve their feud.
  • Coming changes: Many Native American tribes say lunar eclipses are a sign of a transformation to come here on Earth (based on their belief that the moon controls and regulates our planet).
  • A sign of the apocalypse: One of the most widely shared sayings here in the U.S. about total lunar eclipses comes from the Bible. According to Joel 2:31: “The Sun will turn to darkness, and the Moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”
  • Avoid eating? In India, people avoid cooking, eating, and drinking during lunar and solar eclipses. They believe food spoils faster in the absence of the Sun’s light, and may bring on indigestion.
  • Relax, moms! In several cultures, expectant mothers are advised to stay indoors when the Moon turns dark for fear it may curse their unborn child. They should also rest from housework, since using a knife or other sharp object is believed to cause birthmarks.
  • Stories of a jaguar attacking the moon and turning it bloody, while the Mesopotamians believed the moon was being assaulted by demons. And the Batammaliba people in Togo and Benin interpret a lunar occultation as the sun and moon working through a feud.
  • Today, lunar darkening are cause for celebration, and many people host eclipse- viewing parties and even travel big distances to see one in person. But past eclipses have sparked a number of myths and legends linked to more colorful interpretations for the moon’s vanishing act.


Lets Enjoy total lunar eclipse while they last:

Measurements of the distance between Earth and the moon show that, our lunar companion is spiraling away from us at about 3.8 centimeters a year. In a billion years or so, the moon will be too far away to be fully enveloped by Earth’s shadow, and blood moons will become Ofcourse the stuff of legend.




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