Articles About Eclipses (31)
What Is a Solar Eclipse?
Solar eclipses happen when the Moon moves between Sun and Earth, blocking the Sun's rays and casting a shadow on Earth.
How Often Do Solar Eclipses Happen?
There are between 2 and 5 solar eclipses every year, each one visible only in a limited area.
The Full Moon
The Full Moon is the moment the entire face of the Moon is illuminated by the Sun's rays. It is the 3rd primary phase. Each Full Moon has a name, except the Blue Moon.
What's a Blood Moon?
A total lunar eclipse is often called a Blood Moon because of the red glow the eclipsed Moon gets. The term is also used for four total lunar eclipses that occur in a row.
2020 Cosmic Calendar
Astronomical events and highlights of 2020 including supermoons, solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers, solstices, and equinoxes.
The New Moon
In modern astronomy, the New Moon is when the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon. The New Moon also has important cultural and religious significance worldwide.
Solar and Lunar Eclipses
Solar and lunar eclipses, why they occur, when the next eclipse is, and from where you can see them.
Total Solar Eclipse
Total solar eclipses occur when the New Moon comes between the Sun and Earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow, the umbra, on Earth.
Total Lunar Eclipses
A total lunar eclipse happens when Earth's shadow blocks the direct light from the Sun reaching the Full Moon.
Lunar Eclipse: Red Moon
Find out why a totally eclipsed Moon turns a shade of red.
Astronomical Glossary - Terms & Definitions
What do astronomers really mean when they use those technical terms?
Solar Eclipse Myths
The solar eclipse has inspired many mythical stories and influenced human behavior. Even today, eclipses of the Sun are considered bad omens in many cultures.
Annular Solar Eclipse
An annular solar eclipse is when the Moon moves in front of the Sun but leaves the outer edge of the Sun visible as a ring of fire.
What Is the Umbra?
The umbra is the dark center portion of a shadow. The Moon's umbra causes total solar eclipses, and the Earth's umbra is involved in total and partial lunar eclipses.
Watching Lunar Eclipses
A lunar eclipse can be seen with the naked eye, unlike solar eclipses, which have special safety requirements.
Partial Solar Eclipse
A partial solar eclipse happens when the Moon only partially covers the Sun.
Why 3 Shadows?
The Earth and the Moon cast 3 different shadows: umbra, penumbra, and antumbra. Why are there 3 types of shadows and how are they defined?
Solar Eclipses in History
Solar eclipses were historically seen as omens that bring about death and destruction. People in many ancient civilizations tried their best to understand them.
What Is a Partial Lunar Eclipse?
A partial lunar eclipse happens when the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, but they are not precisely aligned.
What Is the Penumbra?
The penumbra is the lighter outer part of a shadow. The Moon's penumbra causes partial solar eclipses, and the Earth's penumbra is involved in penumbral lunar eclipses.
When Mercury transits the Sun, you can see it as a tiny black dot silhouetted against the Sun's disk. The last Mercury transit was on November 11, 2019.
Make a Pinhole Projector
Make a simple pinhole projector using 2 pieces of card or paper to safely watch a projection of a solar eclipse.
What Is the Antumbra?
The antumbra is the lighter part of a shadow that forms at a certain distance from the object casting the shadow. It is involved in annular solar eclipses and planet transits.
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the outer shadow of Earth falls on the Moon's face. It is easy to miss this type of lunar eclipse.
Hybrid Solar Eclipse
A hybrid eclipse or annular/total eclipse starts as a total solar eclipse but changes into an annular solar eclipse. Why is that so? When is the next hybrid solar eclipse?
Eclipse magnitude is a number that astronomers associate with solar or lunar eclipses. What does it mean?
Safely See a Solar Eclipse
Protect your eyes during a solar eclipse. Sunglasses don't work.
Make a Box Pinhole Projector
Instructions on how to DIY a pinhole projector using a cardboard box and household items to safely see a solar eclipse.
Make a Solar Eclipse Projector
Make a Sun projector a pair of binoculars or a telescope to safely watch solar eclipses or a planet transit.
Transit of Venus: June 5-6, 2012
The 2012 Venus transit was the last chance to see this phenomenon for over 100 years. Mercury transits happen more often, the next one in 2032.
Solar Eclipses in 2017
Eclipses in 2017 are visible in Southern America and Africa, and Northern America.