Tag Archives: moon

What is an eclipse?

An eclipse occurs when two planetary bodies are in line with the Sun. The body farther away from the Sun is in the shadow of the one closer. For us here on Earth, we can have eclipses of both the Sun (solar eclipse) and the Moon (lunar eclipse).

Lunar Eclipse of the Moon
Lunar Eclipse from November 2003

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, thereby rendering our satellite in darkness as it passes through our planet’s shadow. Lunar eclipses occur on a full moon and are visible anywhere on Earth that happens to be in night time. Like solar eclipses, there are also many myths and superstitions associated with lunar eclipses.

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Picture of moon taken by Galileo spacecraft

Picture of our Moon taken by the passing Galileo spacecraft

Picture of (our) Moon taken by NASA Jet Propulsion Lab’s (JPL) passing spacecraft. The Galileo spacecraft took this picture of the moon on its way to its primary mission which was to explore the planet Jupiter and three of its moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) . Galileo’s picture provides a view of our Moon’s geography with its many impact basins and areas filled with dark lava rock.