Feature

Moon eclipses


Total lunar eclipse
 
SOHO catches a total lunar eclipse
 
 
Up to three times a year, the full Moon's bright face slowly changes to a dark orange colour. This is called a lunar eclipse. It happens when the Moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun. The Moon then passes through the Earth's shadow. But some sunlight is able to pass through the Earth's atmosphere and reach the Moon, giving it an orange colour.
 
Lunar eclipses last for several hours. Sometimes the entire full Moon moves into the Earth's shadow. Sometimes, it looks as if a monster has taken a bite out of the Moon. This is a partial eclipse.
 
 
Lunar eclipses can be seen wherever the full Moon is in the sky. They are safe to look at with binoculars or a telescope.
 
 
 
Last update: 20 December 2004


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The Moon

 •  Birth of the Moon (http://www.esa.int/esaKIDSen/SEM9R8WJD1E_OurUniverse_0.html)
 •  Moon phases (http://www.esa.int/esaKIDSen/SEMNQ6WJD1E_OurUniverse_0.html)