A lunar eclipse is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, Moon, and Sun align in a particular way. This event is not only awe-inspiring to witness, but it also holds great scientific significance.
Ste Wright | 3 min read
A lunar eclipse is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, Moon, and Sun align in a particular way, causing the Moon to pass through the Earth's shadow. This spectacular event is not only awe-inspiring to witness, but it also holds great scientific significance.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow, which is created when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon. As the Moon enters the Earth's shadow, it gradually dims and takes on a reddish hue. When a total lunar eclipse happens, its phenomenon known as a 'blood moon'. This reddish colour is caused by the Earth's atmosphere, which bends and filters the Sun's light, allowing only the red wavelengths to pass through and illuminate the Moon.
There are three types of lunar eclipses: total, partial, and penumbral. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes completely through the Earth's shadow, causing it to turn a deep shade of red. A partial lunar eclipse occurs when only a portion of the Moon enters the Earth's shadow, resulting in a partial dimming of the Moon's surface. Finally, a penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth's outer shadow, resulting in a slight dimming of the Moon's surface.
Lunar eclipses are not rare events, and they can be observed from anywhere on Earth where the Moon is visible. However, they do not occur every month, as the alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun must be just right for a lunar eclipse to take place. Typically, there are between two and five lunar eclipses per year, although not all are visible from every location on Earth.
Lunar eclipses have been observed and recorded by humans for thousands of years, and they have been the subject of many myths and legends in various cultures. In modern times, lunar eclipses continue to fascinate astronomers and scientists, as they offer a unique opportunity to study the Moon's surface and its interaction with the Earth's atmosphere.
In conclusion, a lunar eclipse is a stunning celestial event that occurs when the Earth, Moon, and Sun align in a particular way. It offers a unique opportunity to witness the beauty and power of our solar system, and it continues to captivate and inspire people worldwide.
The longest lunar eclipse this century occurred at 8:50pm on Friday 27 July 2018. It lasted for 103 minutes.