Eclipse4 - Eclipses Eclipses are events that occur when one...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Eclipses Eclipses are events that occur when one object blocks another, usually resulting in something getting darker or appearing fainter than before. The path of the Sun, the ecliptic, is so named because that is where eclipses are seen to occur. The Sun, the Earth and the Moon all participate in two different main eclipse types - Lunar Eclipses and Solar Eclipses . Lunar eclipses occur only when the Moon is Full and it is located on or very close to the ecliptic. In this case the shadow of the Earth falls upon the Moon, making it dark. Why don't we have lunar eclipses during each Full Moon? The orbit of the Moon is slightly tilted with respect to the Earth's orbit about the Sun, about 5 degrees. For there to be an eclipse the Moon has to be at the point where the planes of the orbit of the Moon and Earth intersect - the nodes . This also explains why we don't have eclipses every month - the orbit of the Moon is not aligned exactly with the ecliptic; sometimes it is above it, sometimes below it. To further complicate things, the
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online