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  Lunar Eclipse: Astronomy: Lunar Eclipse
Posted on Saturday, December 04 @ 15:33:07 CST by astronomy
 
 
  Lunar Eclipse

LUNAR ECLIPSES

You need not travel far, nor wait for many years, to behold the eerie sight of the Moon as it moves into the Earth's shadow and turns dusky red.



During most months, the tilt of the Moon's orbit in relation to the Earth's orbit around the Sun ensures that the Full Moon passes north or south of the Earth's shadow. But at roughly six-month intervals, the Full Moon lies near (or inside) the shadowy cone of darkness that extends far into space directly from Earth. It is during these "eclipse seasons" that lunar and solar eclipses take place. Lunar eclipses can be partial or total, depending on how deeply the Moon goes into the shadow.

The shadow of our planet points at the stars like a finger ofnisht. It starts off as wide as the Earth itself, but shrinks by the time it crosses the Moon's orbit. Although it is still almost three times as wide as the Moon, the shadow is a small area in astronomical terms.

Assuming skies are clear, anyone who is on the night side of Earth while a lunar eclipse is happening can see it. Observers often find lunar eclipses a good deal more relaxing than solar ones because the event usually lasts hours instead of the minutes that measure solar eclipses.

 
 
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Astronomy: Lunar Eclipse - Eclipse Photo

 

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