Difference Between Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse

PhysicsCelestial bodies

Introduction

An eclipse can be defined as an event that occurs when one celestial body comes in front of another celestial body and the whole thing can be seen from a third celestial body. The line-up or the alignment of this event has a scientific name; it is called syzygy. Eclipse can be divided mainly into two types, solar and lunar. When the moon comes in between the sun and earth, it creates solar eclipse. On the other hand when the earth itself comes in between moon and sun, lunar eclipse occurs.

What is a solar eclipse?


Figure 1: Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse can be easily defined as an event that happens when the moon passes in between the sun and the earth, it is called a solar eclipse (spaceplace, 2022). It creates a moving shadow on the surface of the earth, and the whole thing that can be witnessed from the earth is named an eclipse. This event blocks the sun partially or totally for the people of earth (keydifferences, 2022). Shadow has 2 parts, the umbra and the penumbra. The umbra is the part where no sunlight passes through, and in the penumbra part, some part of sunlight reaches.

When does a solar eclipse occur?

In a solar eclipse the sun, the earth and the moon come in one straight line, and the position of the moon is exactly in between the sun and the earth (spaceplace, 2022). At the time of the solar eclipse, the moon blocks the light from the sun and creates a shadow that reflects on the surface of the earth (livescience, 2022).

It blocks the sunlight partially or completely for a minute or more. Mainly there are three types of solar eclipses, total solar eclipse, partial solar eclipse and annual solar eclipse. It is one of the most natural events; however, it is believed that one person should not see a solar eclipse with the naked eyes.

What is a Lunar Eclipse?


Figure 2: Lunar Eclipse

Lunar eclipse can be easily defined as an event, that occurs when the moon comes into the shadow of the earth (Semercioglu, M, &Kalkan, 2021).

In this eclipse, the sun moon and earth come in a straight line, but this time the earth comes in between the sun and moon. It is believed to be the most beautiful astronomical phenomenon (keydifferences, 2022). A lunar eclipse can happen only during the time of the full moon. When the earth passes between the sun and moon, it blocks the sun ray’s, from striking the moon.

When does a lunar eclipse occur?

Lunar eclipse depends on mainly two conditions, one it has to be during the full moon and the earth-moon-sun need to align closely. During the time of the lunar eclipse, the shadow of the earth can be seen on the surface of the moon. It dimmed the moon and sometimes it can be striking red and can stay for hours (NASA, 2022).

The shadow of the earth completely or partially hides the moon sometimes. It happens only two times a year. There are three types of the lunar eclipse and they are total lunar eclipse, partial lunar eclipse and the penumbral lunar eclipse.

What is the difference between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse?


Figure 3: Difference between Solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse

There are many differences between the solar and lunar eclipses, however, the key differences are

Solar Eclipse Lunar Eclipse
When the moon comes in between the sun and the earth, the event calls solar eclipse (nasa, 2022). When the earth comes in between the moon and the sun, the event calls lunar eclipse
For a solar eclipse, the position needs to be like sun-moon-earth. For a lunar eclipse, the position needs to be like sun-earth-moon.
A solar eclipse occurs after every 18 months. A lunar eclipse course twice each year.
Solar eclipse occurs and stays for 5 to 7 minutes Lunar eclipse can stay even for an hour.
It can be witnessed from a very few places. It can be witnessed from many places.
The one condition for the solar eclipse is it has to happen during the new moon. One condition for the lunar eclipse is it has to happen during the full moon (nasa, 2022).
The solar eclipse should not be seen with naked eyes, because it is believed that it can harm the eyes. The lunar eclipse can be seen through naked eyes and it does not affect the eyes.
It happens only during the day times. It happens only during the night times.

Table 1: Difference between Solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse

Conclusion

Any one of the solar or the lunar eclipse needs three celestial bodies to occur in the event, the sun, the moon and the earth. For this planet, the sun and the moon are the primary and natural sources of light, where the sun is the main source and the moon reflects the sunlight to earth. During the time of the solar eclipse, the moon blocks the sunlight partially or completely for some time. On the other hand, during the time of the lunar eclipse, the earth is the sunlight of the moon

FAQs

Q1. What is the basic difference between the solar and lunar eclipse?

During the solar eclipse, the moon comes in between the sun and the earth.On the other hand, during the lunar eclipse, the earth comes in between the sun and the moon.

Q2. What is umbra?

In the case of solar and lunar, both eclipse the inner region of the shadow, where it is completely shaded, called the umbra. In this part, no sunlight passes through.

raja
Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47

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