Solar Vs Lunar Eclipse

Solar and lunar eclipses have always attracted a lot of attraction. Though they are all natural phenomena which occur when one celestial body is fully or partially visually blocked by another, in the past, they have been surrounded by myth, superstition and often also a great deal of fear. Both solar and lunar eclipses have been recorded by ancient civilisations, while some even correctly predicted the future eclipses. But due to the lack of understanding we have about these two phenomena today, eclipses have often been seen as signs or omens of the forthcoming danger or apocalyptic events. This would change only after the beginning of modern astronomy although the eclipses are occasionally still interpreted in a non-scientific way.

Quick Facts About Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipse refers to a total or partial obscuring of the Sun by the Moon. It occurs when the Moon is positioned between the Sun and Earth. Solar eclipse can occur only at new Moon and its conjunction with the Sun or alignment known as syzygy.

There are several types of solar eclipse:

Quick Facts About Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is the Earth’s shadow or umbra. Obviously, it can occur only during the night and at a full moon.

Three types of lunar eclipse exist:

The Difference Between Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Solar and lunar eclipses are two distinct phenomena although both involve obscuring of one astronomical body by another. Unlike the solar eclipse which occurs when the Sun is blocked by the Moon, however, lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow. And unlike solar eclipse which can be observed only with some sort of eye protection, lunar eclipse can safely be observed without any eye protection whatsoever. Also, it lasts much longer than solar eclipses, especially total which last only a few minutes.