Solar and Lunar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes in a direct line between the Earth and the sun. The moon’s shadow travels over the Earth’s surface and blocks out the sun’s light as seen from Earth. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. This occurs only when the sun, moon, and Earth are exactly or very closely aligned. A lunar eclipse occurs only on a full moon night. During a lunar eclipse, Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the moon.

The term eclipse is derived from the ancient Greek noun ékleipsis, which means to fail or to abandon.

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