Every so often, the silvery orb of the full moon undergoes a dramatic transformation. Darkness slips across the lunar face, and for a while, the entire moon may be colored a deep blood red. This what’s known as a total Lunar Eclipse.
What is a lunar eclipse?
It occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. They can occur only on the night of a full moon. It can occur only when Moon, Earth, and the Sun are exactly or very closely aligned, with Earth between the other two. It is the Moon’s proximity to either node of its orbit, that determine the type and length of the eclipse.
How does lunar eclipse occur?
During a Lunar eclipse, the moon travels through the shadow cast by the Earth (the right-hand side of the diagram).
Since the Lunar surface doesn’t have light shining on it (because it is in Earth’s shadow), then it goes significantly darker.
Also because of the geometry of the Sun, Earth system and the presence of the atmosphere, the Earth has two parts to its shadow - and Umbra (where no sunlight reaches the Moon directly), and the penumbra (where some sunlight reaches the moon’s surface). This results in a gradual darkening of the Moon as it moves through the Shadow. The conditions for eclipses occur only at the points at which the Moon’s orbit passes through the ecliptic plane.
Now we know why they occur. There are many interesting facts about this phenomenon. Some of them are listed below.
Facts about lunar eclipse :
- Some lunar eclipse can last up to 3 hours and 45 minutes
- It can occur a maximum of three times a year.
- They are of three types: partial, full, and penumbral.
- There are typically less lunar eclipses than solar eclipses per year.
- A full lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly in front of a full moon.
- The Danjon Scale describes the darkness of a total lunar eclipse.
- The Danjon Scale has 5 points that range from 0 (Moon appears almost invisible) to 4 (very bright yellowish orange).
- There are many myths related to them, like The Inca, for instance, told stories of a jaguar attacking the moon and turning it bloody, while the Mesopotamians believed the moon was being assaulted by demons.
- Despite popular belief, they are relatively safe to watch with the naked eyes because they are fainter than the full moon.
- Totality is when the moon has completely disappeared or darkened.
These were some facts related to lunar eclipse. 20-21 January witnessed a total lunar eclipse. The total phase of this total lunar eclipse was visible from North and South America, Europe and western Africa. The next one will occur on July 16, 2019. It will be a partial lunar eclipse. January 10, 2020, will also witness a Penumbral lunar eclipse.
Lunar Eclipse is a wide and interesting topic to know about. I believe your curiosity to learn about such things should never die. Make your child aware of such facts as well. Make him learn with home tutors for academics on this learning portal or just download this home tuition app to get home tuition for almost every course. Qriyo is a one-stop solution for your learning needs in Academics, Yoga, Dance, Music, Art & Craft, and Languages. Qriyo provides tutors at your home in a tap. Just tell them your requirements via our website or app, and get the perfect tutor at your home.