Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why are solar eclipses so short compared to lunar eclipses?

  1. Oct 14, 2010 #1
    Is it just because the moon moves in and out of view quicker than the earth moving in and out of view as to a lunar eclipse?

    I cant find a simpe definition out there?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2010 #2
    I think its mostly because the earth's shadows is significantly larger than that of the moon. In a solar eclipse, the entire sun is only blocked for a small region on the surface of the earth (i.e. not even the entire earth is in the moon's shadow). For a lunar eclipse, more than the total moon is covered in shadow (i.e. even if the moon moves a little, it's still entirely in the shadow).
  4. Oct 14, 2010 #3
    That's right. It boils down to the Earth itself being much larger then the moon, so it takes a while for the moon to get through Earth's large shadow. But as Zhermes said above, the moon's shadow doesn't even cover most of the Earth.

    Also because the moon is much less nutritious then the sun so the demons have to spend longer eating it before they are full. :)
  5. Oct 14, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook