Differences Between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse
hat are the differences between solar eclipse
and lunar eclipse
? The terms solar eclipse
and a lunar eclipse
refer to events involving three celestial bodies: the Sun (“solar
“), the Moon (“lunar
“), and the Earth. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon lines up precisely in front
of the Earth so that the Moon blocks the Sun’s rays and the Moon’s shadow falls upon the Earth. In contrast, a lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon lines up precisely behind
the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun’s rays and the Earths shadow falls upon the Moon. Both events are relatively rare occurrences and only happen when the Sun, the Moon and the Earth are exactly or very closely aligned.
Solar Eclipse vs. Solar Eclipse
There are two main types of an eclipse: a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. The differences between solar eclipse and lunar eclipse are fairly easy explained. Some of the more important differences are as follows:
- Visibility. A solar eclipse can only be viewed from a certain relatively small area of the world while a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anyone on the night side of the Earth.
- Time. A solar eclipse only occurs at night while a solar eclipse only occurs during the day. In addition, there are only certain times when either of them can occur. A lunar eclipse can only occur when the Moon is directly opposite the Sun (a Full Moon).
- Duration. While a lunar eclipse can last for a few hours, a total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes at any given place due to the small size of the Moon’s shadow.
- Frequency. Lunar eclipses occur more often than solar eclipses. Because the Moon is closer to the Earth than it is to the Sun, the Earth has a much greater chance of blocking the sunlight to the Moon, compared to the Moon blocking the Earth’s light from the Sun.
- Viewing. As it is dangerous to look directly at the Sun, observers should use special eye protection or indirect viewing techniques when looking at a solar eclipse. In contrast, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are no brighter (indeed dimmer) than the full moon itself.
Solar Eclipse Compared to Lunar Eclipse
In short, the main differences between solar eclipse and lunar eclipse are the relative positions of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is in front of the Earth so that the Moon blocks the Sun’s rays and the Moon’s shadow falls upon the Earth.
Solar Eclipse Info
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is behind the Earth so that the Earth blocks the Sun’s rays and the Earth’s shadow falls upon the Moon.
Lunar Eclipse Info
Solar Eclipse Compared to Lunar Eclipse Mythology
While several cultures have myths related to the lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse has always had a more profound effect on society. In some ancient and modern cultures, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes or regarded as bad omens. For example, in ancient China, a solar eclipse was thought to be the dragon coming to eat the Sun.
Popular Full Moon Calendars
Some popular full moon calendars, in addition to the 2016 Full Moon Calendar, include the following: Moon Calendar 2011, Moon Calendar 2012, Moon Calendar 2013, Moon Calendar 2014, Moon Calendar 2015, Moon Calendar 2016, Moon Calendar 2017, Moon Calendar 2018, Moon Calendar 2019, Moon Calendar 2020.
You can also check out our Full Moon Calendar, Lunar Calendar, Lunar Eclipse Calendar and Solar Eclipse Calendar!