Celestial bodies include the Sun and Moon. They are the primary light sources of our planet earth. The Sun is a burning star that is extremely bright. We call it daytime as it illuminates the Earth. The Moon, on the other hand, is the Earth’s satellite that revolves around it. When the Sun does not shine directly on Earth, such as at night, the moon reflects the Sun’s light onto the Earth. A complete or partial eclipse occurs when one celestial body is covered by another celestial body. The Sun, Moon and Earth are all affected by the solar eclipse and lunar eclipse. Solar eclipse and lunar eclipse are the two most common forms of eclipses. When the Moon crosses between the Earth and the Sun, it casts a shifting shadow on the Earth’s surface, known as a solar eclipse. If the Earth crosses between the Sun and the Moon, a lunar eclipse occurs, casting a shadow on the Moon. Let’s understand the basic difference between solar eclipse and lunar eclipse.
What is solar eclipse and lunar eclipse?
Solar eclipse and lunar eclipse difference
It’s easy to confuse these two forms of eclipses. The name is a simple way to know the difference. When an eclipse occurs, the term describes what becomes darker. The Sun dims during a solar eclipse. The Moon darkens during a lunar eclipse and both events are observable for the residents of earth.
What is solar eclipse?
When the Moon blocks the rays coming from sun and casts its shadow on Earth, it is termed as Solar eclipse. During daytime moon passes in front of the Sun thus making it dark (as sun set in mid of day).
When solar eclipse occurs?
Within every year and a half, a total solar eclipse occurs somewhere on the planet. However a partial eclipse occurs at least twice a year anywhere on Earth, when the Moon does not fully cover the Sun. it occurs only for a few minutes every year. Its normal occurrence can only be on the event of a new moon day. A solar eclipse happens two to five times a year on average. Research shows that the planet experiences an average of 2.4 solar eclipses each year.
How does a solar eclipse occur?
A solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned in a line and the moon appears between the earth and the sun thus it blocks the sun completely or partially. A total solar eclipse will occur when moon fully covers the sun, while a partial or annular solar eclipse will happen when the moon obscures the sun partly. Surya Grahan is another name of solar eclipse.
Since the Moon’s shadow on Earth isn’t very big, just a small portion of the planet would be able to see it. When it happens, you must be on the sunny side of the world. You must still be standing in the Moon’s shadow. Solar eclipse is classified into following types:
Total solar eclipse
A total solar eclipse means that the moon has completely obscured the sun’s disk and in order for that to happen, the moon must be at its perigee, or its closest approach to the Planet.
Annular solar eclipse
If the moon does not completely blot out the sun’s disk, it is termed as annular solar eclipse. It only occupies the central portion of the sun’s disk, leaving a thin ring of fire along the sun’s edge. For that to happen, the moon must be close to its apogee, or the moon’s farthest point from the earth.
Partial solar eclipse
A partial solar eclipse happens when the moon partly prevents the sun from falling on the earth, as the name implies. Furthermore, the magnitude of the partial solar eclipse does not have a fixed value since the visibility of the partial solar eclipse varies. It occurs when moon and sun don’t make an exact alignment and sun is covered partially by moon.
Hybrid solar eclipse
A hybrid solar eclipse is the product of combining complete and annular solar eclipses. To put it another way, a hybrid form of solar eclipse appears to be a complete solar eclipse in one place. In other words, during this eclipse, total solar eclipse appears in some parts of planet while other have annular solar eclipse.
What is lunar eclipse?
If the earth passes between the moon and the sun, a lunar eclipse occurs. Which indicates that a full moon fades away during the night as Earth’s shadow covers it as earth blocks the sun rays to reach moon. Since the Earth’s atmosphere absorbs the other colors when bending some sunlight toward the Moon, the Moon will appear reddish. Sunsets are orange and red due to sunlight bending through the atmosphere and absorbing other colors.
When lunar eclipse occurs?
The normal occurrence can only happen on the event of a full moon day. An eclipse of the moon will last more than an hour because the size of earth is much larger than the size of moon. , it happens twice a year on a full moon day. Since the moon is 300 times closer to the Earth than the sun, the odds of the moon being hidden by the Earth are greater. As a result, lunar eclipses are more common than solar eclipses. In addition, the length of a lunar eclipse is longer than that of a solar eclipse.
How does a lunar eclipse occur?
It is a Lunar Eclipse when the sun, moon and earth are in perfect alignment and the earth appears between the moon and the sun thus casting its shadow on the moon and blocking the moon. Chandra Grahan is the name given to a lunar eclipse. Only when the moon is directly opposite the sun, as well as when the earth is precisely between them, this eclipse happens.
Types of Lunar Eclipse
Complete lunar eclipses, partial lunar eclipses, and penumbral lunar eclipses are the three forms of lunar eclipses.
What is a total lunar eclipse?
When the earth completely blocks the sunlight to reach the moon, but some sunlight that reaches the earth’s atmosphere gets refracted and gives the moon a dim glow, it is a total lunar eclipse. In this case, moon is also termed as the blood moon.
What is a partial lunar eclipse?
When the earth, moon and the sun are not in exact alignment and earth overshadows only a part of the moon, it is a partial lunar eclipse.
What is penumbral lunar eclipse?
When the moon is in the earth’s penumbral shadow and thus is faintly shadowed by the Earth, it is Penumbral lunar eclipse.
Why don’t we have a lunar eclipse every month?
We don’t get a lunar eclipse every month due to the reason that the Moon orbits Earth once a month, it does not always pass through Earth’s shadow. In comparison to Earth’s orbit around the Sun, the Moon’s path around Earth is bent. And if the Moon is behind the Earth, it is still illuminated by the Sun’s rays.
A lunar eclipse is a unique occurrence since it does not occur every month. Unlike solar eclipses are visible to a large number of people. You would be able to see the eclipse if you remain on the nighttime half of the Earth at the moment it occurs.