Group A Eclipses

**What is an eclipse? **
There are two types of eclipse,Lunar and Solar.

what is a Lunar eclipse
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun's rays from striking the Moon. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon. The type and length of an eclipse depend upon the Moon's location relative to its orbital nodes. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth. A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours, whereas a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the moon's shadow.

What is a Solar eclipse
As seen from the Earth, a Solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. This can happen only during a new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses only part of the Sun is obscured.
If the Moon were in a circular orbit close enough to the Earth and in the same orbital plane, there would be total solar eclipses every single month. However, the Moon's orbit is angled at more than 5 degrees to the earth's orbit around the sun (see ecliptic) so its shadow at new moon often misses the Earth. The Earth's orbit is called the ecliptic plane as the Moon's orbit must cross this plane in order for an eclipse (both solar as well as lunar) to occur. In addition, the Moon's actual orbit is elliptical, often taking it far enough away from the Earth so that its apparent size is not large enough to block the Sun totally. The orbital planes cross each year at a line of nodes resulting in at least two, and up to five, solar eclipses occurring each year; no more than two of which can be total eclipses.[1][2] Total solar eclipses are nevertheless rare at any particular location because totality exists only along a narrow path on the Earth's surface traced by the Moon's shadow or umbra.

Solar eclipse diagram

SEDiagram1c.JPG

diagram of Lunar eclipse

lunar-eclipse-1.jpg

By Charlotte C

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