What is Lunar eclipse: Definition and 21 Discussions

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly or very closely aligned (in syzygy) with Earth between the other two, and only on the night of a full moon. The type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon's proximity to either node of its orbit.A totally eclipsed Moon is sometimes called a blood moon for its reddish color, which is caused by Earth completely blocking 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 bluer light.
Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth. A total lunar eclipse can last up to nearly 2 hours, while a total solar eclipse lasts only up to a few minutes at any given place, because the Moon's shadow is smaller. Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.
For the date of the next eclipse, see § Recent and forthcoming lunar eclipses.

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  1. russ_watters

    Stargazing Potential Impact of Meteoroid During Lunar Eclipse on January 21, 2019

    Anyone else watching the lunar eclipse tonight? It starts at about 9:30PM EST, with totality at 11:41. It's cold and windy in PA, but at least it's mostly clear. Here's a couple of pre-eclipse photos:
  2. J

    Can total lunar eclipse and partial lunar eclipse happen at the same time?

    Can total lunar eclipse and partial lunar eclipse be happened at the same time? So, do we call it partial lunar eclipse when the total lunar eclipse happen just before?
  3. Lunar Eclipse of 31st January 2018

    Lunar Eclipse of 31st January 2018

    Taken by Griffith Observatory. Four hours of footage has been compressed to 60 seconds. The moon set while the partial eclipse was not yet over.
  4. Charles Link

    B Tonight's full moon and lunar eclipse

    Hello, I don't see any other post about tonight's full moon and lunar eclipse, so I thought I would mention it.
  5. C

    Lunar and Solar eclipse - same times a year?

    Hi, Just wondering: The lunar orbit around the Earth is tilted 5.1 degree with respect to the Earth's orbit around the sun (as described in the video), so only at 2 times during the year the Earth is aligned with the sun such that lunar eclipses can happen IF the moon is behind the Earth...
  6. davenn

    Total Lunar Eclipse 8th Oct 2014

    hi guys and gals a total lunar eclipse will be visible for all Pacific and parts of it for most of USA parts of South America, Central Asia cheers Dave
  7. C

    Lunar Eclipse: Umbra and penumbra radii

    Homework Statement Find the radii of the umbra and penumbra circles drawn drawn perpendicular to the EMS axis, formed at a distance equal to that of the moon from the Earth. Homework Equations (From: http://www.opticiansfriend.com/articles/equations.html#Shadows) D2 / L1 = (P + U) /...
  8. S

    Stargazing Solar and Lunar Eclipse - size of moon

    If during a solar eclipse the moon tapers one moon diameter, wouldn't a lunar eclipse taper one Earth diameter?
  9. J

    Stargazing Ever wonder what happens during a lunar eclipse?

    Being on the east coast of the US, I won't be able to see it. Those on the west coast will though. Here is how it will happen. Once in a blue moon, the Earth darts out of its orbit temporarily and blots out the sun. When that happens, you can see all of the sunsets on the Earth reflected off the...
  10. Dembadon

    Stargazing How Does Atmospheric Turbulence Affect Lunar Eclipse Shots?

    Here's a shot I took at about 11:40PM Pacific Time I used my new lens! :biggrin: Shot info:
  11. Philosophaie

    Stargazing Rare Total Lunar Eclipse on Winter Solstice - Dec 21 @12:29AM EST

    There is going to be a Lunar Eclipse on the Winter Solstice. It will start Dec 21 @12:29AM EST. Entering the Earth's Umbra(the shadow of the Earth) @1:33AM. The eclipse will become total @2:41AM EST lasting approximately 72 minutes. The best time to view is 3:15AM EST when the Moon will be...
  12. E

    Stargazing About the wave nature theory In the case of Lunar Eclipse

    About the wave nature theory ! In the case of Lunar Eclipse Hello all :) First I'm glad to be a new member of this forum .. Anyway .. as I noticed that if someone thought about a theory or a physics inquiry you share your thoughts and solve the problem .. So what came to my mind months ago...
  13. Evo

    Stargazing Moon Illusion to Supersize Saturday Lunar Eclipse

    Yay, I'm in central US. http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20100625/sc_space/moonillusiontosupersizesaturdaylunareclipse
  14. Janus

    Stargazing Last nights total Lunar eclipse

    Last nights total Lunar eclipse was probably the first time a great many people even paid any attention to our natural satellite for quite a while. It's kind of taken for granted. After all, except for the passing phases, it usually doesn't change. Its the same face staring at us night after...
  15. Gokul43201

    Stargazing Are You Prepared for the Upcoming Lunar Eclipse?

    Set your alarms, get your cameras ready, clean the lenses on your scopes - it's loony time! http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070827-lunar-eclispe.html http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/images/070827-lunar-eclipse_big.jpg
  16. V

    Stargazing A rough calculation on the duration of lunar eclipse

    I guess many have watched the lunar eclipse last night I was just thinking about the duration of a lunar eclipse on my way home sun-to-earth = 1.5x10^8 km, moon-to-earth = 384400 km R(Earth) = 6378 km, R(Sun) = 6.96x10^5 km, R(Moon) = 1378 km Moon's period around Earth = 27.3 days x /...
  17. P

    Stargazing Red Sox & Lunar Eclipse & astrology

    PF member turbo-1 predicted that some superstitious Red Sox fans would attach some mystical significance to the lunar eclipse during the final game of the World Series. So far, fortunately, I have not seen too much of that in the news, although I have not asked many fans about it. I did find...
  18. R

    Stargazing Lunar Eclipse and earth's shadow

    Hi, I was fortunate to be camping on November 8 and near a nice warm fire throughout the entire lunar eclipse. It was awesome! I have a question about the the apparent direction the moon appeared to travel through the Earth's shadow. This is kinda hard to put into words, so please bear...
  19. Kerrie

    Stargazing Star of David and Total Lunar Eclipse

    I stumbled on this page while reading the weekly celestial weather report. http://astrosite.com/__JM1.htm the star of david is present at the exact moment in an astrological chart that the Earth experiences a total lunar eclipse on 11/8/2003...
  20. K

    Stargazing Check Out the Lunar Eclipse Tonight - Night Calculator

    Lunar eclipse tonight (15/16.5) and I found this night calculator http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/LunarEclipse.html that allows you to get information on the eclipse, and future eclipses.