Types of solar and lunar eclipses
Eclipses have been the subject of superstition and scientific curiosity throughout history. timeanddate.com explores the different types of eclipses.
Types of solar eclipses
Solar eclipses only happen at New Moon, when the Moon moves between Earth and Sun and the three celestial bodies form a straight line: Earth - Moon - Sun.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely covers the sun, as seen from Earth.
Partial solar eclipses can be observed when only the lunar penumbra (the partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an object) touches the Earth.
Annular eclipses occur when the Moon appears smaller than the Sun as it passes centrally across the solar disk and a bright ring, or annulus, of sunlight remains visible during the eclipse.
“Hybrid” eclipses are a rare form of solar eclipse, which changes from an annular to a total solar eclipse along its path.
Types of lunar eclipses
Lunar eclipses only happen at Full Moon, when the Earth moves between Moon and Sun, and the three celestial bodies form a straight line: Moon - Earth - Sun.
Total lunar eclipses occur when the Earth's umbra obscures all of the Moon's visible surface.
Partial lunar eclipses can be observed when only part of the Moon's visible surface is obscured by the Earth’s umbra.
Penumbral lunar eclipses happen when the Moon travels through the faint penumbral portion of the Earth’s shadow.
Types of Eclipses
- Moon Calculator – Find times for moonrise, moonset and more
- Moon Phase Calculator – Calculate moon phases for any year
- Sunrise Calculator – Find times for sunrise, sunset and more
- Day and Night World Map – See which parts of the Earth are currently illuminated by the Sun