Lunar eclipse

From Citizendium
Revision as of 11:13, 5 September 2007 by imported>Derek Harkness (correct category)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth’s shadow passes across the full moon, making it appear as though someone is rubbing it out slowly, or drawing a veil across it.

In order for a lunar eclipse to happen, the sun, earth and moon must be aligned. You could be forgiven for thinking that this would happen every month, as the moon orbits the earth; however, the moons orbit has a slight wobble so most months the moon is either too high or too low to be caught in the earths shade.

The outline of the moon is still visible during a lunar eclipse. The moon, while shaded by the earth, has a browny red tinge to it. The name “blood moon” is often given to this appearance.

The most recent lunar eclipse occurred on the 28th August 2007 and was visible throughout the Americas, East Asia and Australia. It was not visible in Europe or Africa as it was daytime in those areas at the time of the eclipse.