8 Difference Between Solar Eclipse And Lunar Eclipse (With Pictures)

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What Is Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between Earth and the Sun and the moon casts a shadow over Earth. A solar eclipse can only take place at the phase of new moon, when the moon passes directly between the Sun and Earth and its shadows fall upon Earth’s surface.

There are four types of solar eclipses which are Total, Annular, Partial and Hybrid.

  • A total solar eclipse is when the moon blocks out the Sun entirely.
  • A partial eclipse is when it blocks out a portion of the Sun.
  • An annular eclipse is when the moon is at its furthest point in orbit. It will not cover the Sun completely that’s when you can see a thin ring of light emerging from the outside rim of the moon.
  • Hybrid solar eclipse can also be referred to as annular-total eclipse. This eclipse occurs when the moon’s distance is near its limit for the umbra to reach Earth. In many cases, annular total eclipse begin as an annular eclipse because the tip of the umbra falls just short of making contact with Earth, then it becomes total, because the roundness of the planet reaches up and intercepts the shadow tip near the middle of the  path, then finally it returns to annular towards the end of the path.

What You Need To Know About Solar Eclipse (Eclipse Of The Sun)

  1. Solar eclipse takes place during the day.
  2. Eclipse of the sun takes place during the new moon phase.
  3. Solar eclipse is shorter than lunar eclipse. It takes place for a period of between 7 and 10 minutes.
  4. It is dangerous to watch a solar eclipse with naked eyes (without eyewear protection) because you can seriously damage your eyesight.
  5. Not all places around the globe experience the solar eclipse. This because the shadow the moon casts on earth during a solar eclipse is smaller when compared to the shadow the Earth casts on the moon during lunar eclipse.
  6. A solar eclipse occurs in every 18 months (1.5years).
  7. During the eclipse of the sun, the position of three celestial bodies is SUN, MOON and EARTH (SME).
  8. The three different forms of solar eclipse are: Total Solar Eclipse, Partial Solar Eclipse and Annular Solar Eclipse.

What Is Lunar Eclipse?

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the moon and the Sun, and the Earth’s shadow obscures the moon or a portion of it. There are three types of lunar eclipse-total, partial and penumbral.

  • Total lunar Eclipse– a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the moon and the Sun and covers the moon with its shadow. A total lunar eclipse is sometimes referred to as Blood Moon because the moon may look red when it’s only illuminated by the light in Earth’s shadow.
  • Penumbral lunar eclipse– a penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon becomes completely immersed in the penumbral cone of the Earth without touching the umbra.
  •  Partial Lunar Eclipse– a partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the Sun and moon but the three celestial bodies do not form a straight line in space. When that happens, a small part of the moon’s surface is covered by the darkest, central part of the Earth’s shadow referred to as umbra.

What You Need To Know About Lunar Eclipse (Eclipse Of The Moon)

  1. Lunar eclipse takes place during the night.
  2. Eclipse of the moon happens during the full moon phase.
  3. Lunar eclipse is longer than solar eclipse. It lasts for at least 1 hour.
  4. It is quite safe to watch a lunar eclipse without eyewear protection.
  5. Many places around the world experience the lunar eclipse, because the Earth shadow that is cast on the moon during lunar eclipse is much bigger than the shadow the moon casts on Earth during a solar eclipse.
  6. Lunar eclipse takes place twice a year.
  7. During the eclipse of the moon, the position of three celestial bodies is SUN, EARTH and MOON (SEM).
  8. The three different forms of lunar eclipse are: Total Lunar Eclipse, Partial Lunar Eclipse and Penumbral Lunar Eclipse.

Also Read: Difference Between Solstice And Equinox

Difference Between Solar Eclipse And Lunar Eclipse In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON SOLAR ECLIPSE LUNAR ECLIPSE
Occurrence Solar eclipse takes place during the day.   Lunar eclipse takes place during the night.  
 Phase Of The Moon In Which It Happens   Eclipse of the sun takes place during the new moon phase.   Eclipse of the moon happens during the full moon phase.  
Duration Solar eclipse is shorter than lunar eclipse. It takes place for a period of between 7 and 10 minutes.   Lunar eclipse is longer than solar eclipse. It lasts for at least 1 hour.  
Risk It is dangerous to watch a solar eclipse with naked eyes (without eyewear protection) because you can seriously damage your eyesight.   It is quite safe to watch a lunar eclipse without eyewear protection.  
Global Appearance Not all places around the globe experience the solar eclipse. This because the shadow the moon casts on earth during a solar eclipse is smaller when compared to the shadow the Earth casts on the moon during lunar eclipse.   Many places around the world experience the lunar eclipse, because the Earth shadow that is cast on the moon during lunar eclipse is much bigger than the shadow the moon casts on Earth during a solar eclipse.  
Frequency Of Occurrence A solar eclipse occurs in every 18 months (1.5years).   Lunar eclipse takes place twice a year.  
Arrangement Of The Celestial Bodies During the eclipse of the sun, the position of three celestial bodies is SUN, MOON and EARTH (SME).   During the eclipse of the moon, the position of three celestial bodies is SUN, EARTH and MOON (SEM).  
Types Total Solar Eclipse  Partial Solar Eclipse  Annular Solar Eclipse.   Total Lunar Eclipse  Partial Lunar Eclipse Penumbral Lunar Eclipse.  

What Are Some Of The Similarities Between Solar And Lunar Eclipse?

  • Every year there are two phenomenon of each type of eclipse.
  • They both can be predicted with great precision.
  • In both cases, one object blocks the sun’s light from falling on some part of the other object.
  • Both occur when one celestial object obscures another celestial body.

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