Lunar Eclipse: Definition and Explanation


The earth and the moon are both dark celestial bodies. Both of them obtain light from the sun. The earth revolves around the sun within its axis. On the other hand, the moon revolves around the earth round its axis.

Once every year, both of them come face to face with each other. As a result, one of them blocks the sun’s light and throws its shadow on the other one. When the earth blocks the sunlight and casts its shadow on the moon, this phenomenon is known as the lunar eclipse. On the other hand, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the sun and the earth, blocking the sunlight from reaching the earth.

Both of these phenomena occur due to the movements of the earth and the moon around their respective axis. During the course of their movements, when the earth comes directly between the sun and the moon, a full shadow appears on the moon. This is known as the Total Lunar Eclipse. However, when the sun’s light is partially blocked by the earth, it results in a Partial Lunar Eclipse.

The duration of one lunar day is equal to 15 days on the earth. The moon completes its revolution around the earth in 29 or 30 days. Gradually, the axis of the moon around the earth is increasing. It means that the distance of the moon from the earth is increasing.

The gravity found on the surface of the moon is 6 times less than the gravitational force of the earth. The sun continuously shines on the moon for 14 days. As a consequence, the temperature of the moon rises to 129 degrees Fahrenheit.

When we look at it from the earth, we always see the same face of the moon. This is because the moon revolves around the earth and spins on its axis at the same rate. We can only see approximately 41% of the moon’s surface from the earth during a full moon. However, this percentage keeps varying and we can see up to 59% of the moon’s surface. But usually, we can only see a maximum of 41% of the moon’s surface from the earth at any time.

The distance between the earth and the moon is equal to 385,000 kilometers. However, this distance is gradually increasing. When the moon comes between the sun and the moon during its course of revolution around the sun, a partial or complete lunar eclipse may occur.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon appears to be dark. It may also appear with reddish hues. If the earth is seen from the earth, it will always appear to be at the same point in the sky. June 2011 Lunar Eclipse in Pakistan


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