Article: What is a lunar eclipse? Print

Lunar EclipseAs you know, the Earth goes around the sun and the moon goes around the Earth. Now imagine what happens when you have the sun, the Earth, and the moon all lined up in a row. The Earth will end up blocking the rays of the sun from reaching the moon. The Earth has two shadows, one inside the other. The inner shadow is called the umbra, and it’s the darker shadow. The penumbra is a wider shadow, stretching out more to the sides, but it’s not as dark as the umbra. When the moon is in the penumbra shadow of the Earth, we barely notice that the moon is darkened. When the moon is partly in the umbra shadow of the Earth, it’s called a partial lunar eclipse. When the moon is all the way in the umbra shadow, it is a total lunar eclipse. Total lunar eclipses last around 20 minutes to an hour and 40 minutes. Credits: Courtesy: HowStuffWorks

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